THIS DOES NOT sound like a winning formula. Miss 24 of 29 shots in one stretch, on the road. Watch an 11-point, second-half lead turn into a deficit. Have your entire team get outscored by two players in the fourth quarter.
Somehow, it worked for the Indiana Pacers.
And with one part of the Big Three gone, the Miami Heat might have a very big problem.
David West scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Pacers took home-court advantage away from Miami by beating the Heat, 78-75, in Game 2 of the teams' Eastern Conference semifinal series Tuesday night - after LeBron James and Dwyane Wade both came up short on key opportunities in the final minute.
"Defense and rebounding," Indiana coach Frank Vogel said. "We built this team, we started talking about smash-mouth basketball, about winning the war in the trenches, and that's with defense and rebounding. That's what I grew up watching Eastern Conference basketball being like. We understand offense is going to come and go, especially like a great defensive team like these guys . . . but we're pretty good, too."
The series is tied, 1-1, with Game 3 in Indianapolis on Thursday night.
James scored 28 points for Miami and Wade finished with 24, though both failed to convert big chances late. James missed two free throws with 54.3 seconds left and Miami down one, and Wade was short on a layup that would have tied the game with 16 seconds remaining.
"The game is not lost or won with two free throws," James said. "But I definitely want to come through for my teammates. So I'll get an opportunity again. I know I'll be at the line again in that situation. Just go up and make 'em."
Miami was without Chris Bosh, who's sidelined indefinitely - almost certainly the rest of the series, possibly longer if the Heat advance - after he strained a lower abdominal muscle in Game 1.
Besides James and Wade, no other Heat player scored more than five points. According to STATS LLC, it was the first time in Heat franchise history that only two players scored more than five points in a game, regular season or playoffs.
In another NBA playoff game:
* At San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 26 points and 10 rebounds and the Spurs, recharged after a weeklong layoff, wore down the busy Los Angeles Clippers to win Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series, 108-92.
Playing for the sixth time in 11 days, the Clippers gave San Antonio its toughest first half of the playoffs before fading fast.
Manu Ginobili added 22 points for the Spurs, who've won 15 in a row. It's the longest winning streak sustained in the NBA playoffs since the 2004 Spurs won 17 straight.
* Cleveland's Kyrie Irving, who played beyond his years and above everyone's expectations including his own, was chosen the NBA's Rookie of the Year on Tuesday, winning an award he always believed was within reach.
"It was a goal of mine," he said. "I knew as long as we won some games and beat some great team that it was going to come."
Irving received 117 of 120 possible first-place votes from a media panel of writers and broadcasters. Irving finished with 592 points, way ahead of Minnesota's Ricky Rubio (170) and Denver's Kenneth Faried (129). Faried, San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard and New York's Iman Shumpert received the other first-place votes, denying Irving's bid to become the fourth player to win the award unanimously. The 20-year-old is the second Cavalier to win the award, joining LeBron James in 2004.
* The doctor who operated on Derrick Rose's knee insists the Chicago Bulls' star can dominate again. It will take time, though. Rose faces a recovery of 8 months to a year. The assessment by team physician Dr. Brian Cole on Tuesday means the point guard could return around mid-January to early February, or miss next season. The doctor added there is a chance Rose could be back sooner, but "we're not going to rush it."