Last week I had the privilege of attending my first NBA game at American Airlines Arena in Miami. It was quite a first game to attend! Anyone who saw Heat-Pacers Game 1 on TV knows how truly amazing it was.
Ever since the start of the NBA season in November, I have been begging my parents to take me to a Heat game. It is only a two-hour drive to the arena from where I live. They told me that if I finished the school year well, then I could have my wish. So I was ecstatic to find out that my graduation present was a trip to see my favorite NBA team play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals!
After arriving at American Airlines Arena, my mom and I walked around and got a feel for an NBA venue. Since it was a white out, it was crowded with Heat fans, dressed in white, left and right. Honestly, I don’t think I saw a single Pacers fan the whole night! We found our seats and there was a white t-shirt that said “White-Hot Heat 2013 Playoffs” on it. Even though the shirt was huge on me, I wore it all night!
The game finally started and I was really excited! The announcer was so lively; well at least he was for the Heat. Whenever one of the Heat players would score, the announcer was able to get the crowd excited. When the Pacers scored, you could hear a pin drop in the place; the fans were silent and the announcer mumbled the shooter’s name.
The Heat and Pacers were pretty evenly matched. At the end of the first quarter the Heat were up 22-21, not a huge margin. After the first quarter the announcer mentioned a few famous people in the crowd: musician Jimmy Buffet, and former tennis pro and model Anna Kournikova. It was pretty cool to know that these people were also Heat fans and were there to enjoy a game out with their families. As the second quarter progressed, you could tell that this was not going to be an easy game for the Heat. At the half they were down by five points. It was interesting that throughout the game, neither team was up by more than five points at any time!
The halftime show consisted of the Miami Heat Street Band playing its version of “Beauty and a Beat” by Justin Bieber, and there was also a performance by the Miami Heat Dancers. Also, t-shirts were thrown to the fans by the Heat dancers and a dancing banana!
The third quarter began and the fans were pumped up! By the end of the third quarter the score was 65-64, the Heat trailing by one. When the announcer said that the fourth quarter was starting, the fans were so excited. I didn’t sit down once during the whole quarter! The game was so close; it was the Heat up by one, then the Pacers up by one. It all came down to the last minute. LeBron James had just made a three, putting the Heat up by three. The Pacers had one possession to score a three to bring it into overtime. The fans were cheering for the Heat, and we thought it was over. Then the Pacers’ Paul George shot a three; swoosh. The fans were shocked. Silence filled the building.
The five-minute overtime began. The Heat fans cheered louder than ever. With less than 30 seconds to go the Heat were up 101-99. In the last ten seconds, Dwyane Wade fouled George, who was shooting a three. It was Wade’s sixth, so he fouled out. George had three shots and he made all three, putting the Pacers up one again. The Heat had 2.2 seconds to inbound the ball and make a shot to win. The ball was passed in to LeBron James. He went down the center of the lane to the basket and made a layup! THE HEAT WON!!!!!!!!! Fans went crazy!
I was so happy that I got to see the Miami Heat win the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals! Let’s go Heat!