Heat knock off Pacers again with ticket to Finals
Miami– The Miami Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers 117-92 on Friday night. This win gives the Heat the series 4-2 over the Pacers. With this win, the Heat advance to the NBA finals for the fourth straight year. The Heat will be making their fifth NBA Finals appearance since 2006.
The Heat won the NBA Finals in 2006, 2012 and 2013. They lost it to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, 4-2.
Friday’s win also marked the third straight year the Heat have eliminated the Pacers in the NBA Playoffs. The Pacers were looking to make their first NBA Finals appearance since 2000. That year, they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.
The Heat were led by Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. James had 25 points while making eights of his 12 field goal attempts. Bosh chipped in with 25 points and eight rebounds. James and Bosh made a combined 18 of 26 shooting from the field. Wade also led the Heat with six assists in the win.
The Pacers were led by Paul George. He had a game-high 29 points in the losing effort. David West also chipped in with 16 points in the defeat.
Early, the Heat trailed 9-2 before they ripped off 54 of the next 75 points to erase any doubt by halftime. The Heat also set a franchise record with their 11th straight home postseason win, going back to the final two games of last season’s NBA Finals, leading by 37 at one point.
Miami’s largest lead at any point this season, before Game 6, was 36 points. Indiana’s largest deficit of the season had been 35 points. After a layup by James with 3:39 left in the third, the margin in this game became a whopping 37 points at 86-49. James’ night ended not long afterward.
There were the now-requisite Lance Stephenson events, adding intrigue to the first half. The Pacers’ guard walked over to James and tapped him in the face during the opening minutes, stood over him after both got tangled under the basket and was whistled for a flagrant foul for striking Norris Cole in the head in the second quarter.
It was the end of a very memorable series for Stephenson, none of which really had anything to do with basketball. His string of newsworthy moments from these Eastern Conference finals started when he talked about the health of Wade’s knees before the series started and reached an apex in Game 5 when he blew into James’ ear then walked into a Heat huddle during a timeout.
The Heat were bothered by it all, but got the last laugh on Friday. Big Brother, again, reigned supreme in this heated rivalry. And when it was over, Stephenson went out and shook hands with plenty of Heat players, as did the rest of his teammates.
Before the game, David west said, “They’ve won championships. No, we’re not equal.”
The Heat also made some NBA history. They became the third team to ever make it to four consecutive NBA Finals. The Last team to accomplish this was the 1984-87 Boston Celtics. The Lakers also accomplished this feat from 1982-1985.
James also appeared in his career 100th playoff victory. The Pacers are now 7-12 against Miami in the last three postseasons, and 20-10 against everyone else. Wade and Udonis Haslem are going to the NBA Finals for the fifth time in nine seasons.
The Miami Heat will begin the NBA Finals on Thursday night.