Whitney Houston sang it best in the song “Exhale.”
For every win, someone must fail. But there comes a point when we exhale.
The fifth-seeded Miami Heat sweep the fourth-seeded Indiana Pacers after Goran Dragic scored 23 points, Bam Adebayo picked up his first playoff series win with 14 points and 19 rebounds in a 99-87 win on Monday night.
Pacers failed. Heat Exhaled.
I expected the series to go six games with the Heat advancing. Now they can take advantage of healing and golf time in the bubble while they await the winner of the Orlando Magic and Milwaukee Bucks series.
The Heat scored 50 points in the paint, Pacers 30. The Heat outrebounded the Pacers 66 to 39.
“We talked about how we have to get one out the mud,” Heat forward Jimmy Butler shared. “We are not going to make shots every night. We did a great job on the defensive end and getting to the foul line.
Butler departed the game in the first quarter with a left shoulder strain. He returned after halftime and finished with six points in 23 minutes and a critical defensive play.
“The rest is going to be great for myself and my teammates,” Butler added.
Pacers were down by as many 13 and cut the lead to 91-85 with 3 minutes remaining, but the Heat was aggressive when it came to rebounding and defense.
A sweep is a sweep, but the Pacers were without All-Star Domantis Sabonis while in the bubble, and Victor Olidipo appeared to still work his way back to being healthy.