The third quarter belonged to LeBron James on Thursday night, but he didn’t lead the Heat into another series lead alone. Udonis Haslem had a period to remember as well. The Heat outscored Indiana 30-13 in the third quarter to take a 13-point lead into the fourth quarter. One may have heard that James had 16 of Miami’s 30 points in the third. Haslem, who came into the game averaging 6.5 points in the previous four games, scored 10 just in the third period. Haslem hit his final eight shots after bricking one off a baseline jumper early in the first. “He burned us,” Pacers’ coach Frank Vogel said. Haslem gave credit to veteran forward Juwan Howard — who hasn’t played this postseason — for stirring words at halftime as Miami trailed by four. “There were a lot of bleeps,” Haslem said of the speech. Whatever it was, it worked. “We felt like we had 24 minutes to play for our livelihoods,” Haslem said. “That’s what we did. We knew they weren’t going to give us the game. We had to be aggressive offensively and defensively.” Haslem — who scored 16 points with three rebounds in 25:35 Thursday — once again showed why he was a player Dwyane Wade had to have back during Miami’s run to the ‘Big 3’ era in the summer of 2010. Not only did Haslem put up the points — and do so on 5-of-5 shooting in the third — but also he felt right at home getting physical on the defensive end as he helped hold Roy Hibbert to four points in the third. “We’ve seen that so many times going back to our other championship run,” coach Erik Spoelstra said, referring back to Miami’s 2006 title team. “He set the defensive tone for us, was up for the challenge. He was tireless as well.” The Heat’s bodyguard also stepped in when Mario Chalmers and David West were jawing it out in the third — both drawing technicals. Haslem stepped in and took things over for his smaller teammate. “I was just protecting my point guard,” Haslem said. “It was a mismatch.” With Chris Bosh struggling inside, the Heat has needed more from both Haslem and Chris Andersen. Although Andersen only scored four points (and has hit all 15 shots taken this series), he sure woke up the Miami arena.
Udonis Haslem, Chris Andersen come up big for Miami Heat
Miami Herald | May 31