Originally written on Pacers Pulse  |  Last updated 11/13/14
Let's not get carried away with this February victory but a win against the defending champions is great whenever you can get it. After winning against them just a month ago in a game that wasn't really that close, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Heat would be eager for payback and would be too much for the inconsistent, Danny Granger-less Pacers. In fact, the commentators specifically made a note of how switched on and focused the Heat looked before the game, so puh-lease, none of that 'the Heat weren't really trying' business. Let's not kid ourselves. The Heat wanted this one bad. However, so did David West and the Pacers. The bruising Pacers bigs -- West and Hansbrough in particular -- were too much for height and size challenged Heat. West was in beast mode all night long, pouring in a season-high 30 points to go with 7 rebounds and 5 assists on 12-15 shooting from the field and 6-6 from the line. It was vintage West -- reliable, intelligent, skillful, unstoppable. Hansbrough was by far the most productive player off the bench with 11 points, almost single-handedly carrying the Pacers' second unit in the second quarter. Paul George's matchup against Lebron was a great one. On paper, Lebron dominated 28-15, but I could have sworn it was a lot closer than that when watching it on the TV. PG24 had some great moments and hit the big buckets when it counted. Not bad against a prime King James. Lance Stephenson was huge, putting up 15 points and putting the clamps down on Dwyane Wade to "hold" him to 17 points. To be honest, Stephenson wasn't quite as good as the numbers suggested, getting a ton of his passes deflected, turning it over 3 times (though it felt like 10) and setting for a lot of ill-advised jumpers with the shot clock winding down. Roy Hibbert made a difference on the defensive end, but let's not pretend the big fella is not still struggling very badly. 7 points on 3-8 shooting, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 30 minutes. People are trying to defend his play by highlighting his defense, but unless he wins DPOY his max contract is looking worse by the day. You can't be a max player and be this bad at one end of the floor. Sorry, but it's the brutal truth. In the end, the night still belonged to West. The Pacers will need to be at their best as they embark on this season's only back-to-back-to-back -- for any team -- thanks to that rescheduled Bulls game that will see the Pacers play three games in three nights. The opponents are pretty nasty too -- Chicago and Atlanta at home and Philly on the road. If the Pacers can win all three I will be very impressed. But for now, they can savor this win against the Heat. They deserved it. PS: Sam Young is back! He was released and re-signed. People are pretending it will make a huge difference. I don't think his defense is really that good. PPS: Granger has participated in his first team practice -- full court play too. And he beat Paul George and George Hill in an after-practice shooting game. Apparently he is in good shape but not yet game shape. They are trying to get him some court time before the All-Star break. That is all.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jay Gruden: RG3 to remain starter against Colts

LeBron James on four-game losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Johnny Manziel and his entourage involved in brawl

Report: Mariners sign Kyle Seager to $100 million extension

Reports confirm Ryan Mallett is out for the season

Golden Tate: Loss to Patriots was 'embarrassing'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pete Carroll: Beating Cards ‘best feeling we’ve had all year’

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola over cheap shot

Tom Brady: ‘It’s fun going to Lambeau’

Anquan Boldin after exchange with Jim Haslett: He’s irrelevant

Ryan Mallett reportedly could be done for season

Report: Sandoval agrees to deal with BoSox, agent denies report

The top 25 greatest rivalries in college football history

WATCH: Tom Brady sits down for interview with Randy Moss

UNC vandalized Duke locker room with spray paint after win

Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez highlight Hall of Fame ballot

Sales of Odell Beckham Jr.'s jersey on the rise

RG3 struggles again, Redskins offense stuck in neutral

12 amazing stats from Week 12

Hockey Fights of the Week

Three head coaches who won't be with current team in 2015

Katy Perry confirmed as Super Bowl XLIX halftime performer

10 takeaways from Sunday's Week 12 NFL action

WWE Survivor Series results: Sting debuts, Team Cena wins

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Greatest college football rivalries

LeBron on losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Manziel, friends get in brawl

Tate: Loss to Pats was 'embarrassing'

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola

Boldin on Haslett: He's irrelevant

Pablo Sandoval signs with Red Sox?

Beckham makes the catch of the season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 12

WWE Survivor Series results

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.