The Miami Heat knew they had let go of an opportunity to win the Eastern Conference Finals in five games, due in large part to Lebron James being in foul trouble all game long. They only lost by two, but there was no way they were going to go back to Indiana for a Game 7 on Sunday.
That’s why, even though the Indiana Pacers opened up the game on a 9-2 run, there was no doubt that the Pacers were going to lose this game. That became a lot more clear when the Heat ended the quarter on a 22-4 run, taking a 24-13 lead after the opening quarter.
Things only got worse in the second quarter, in which the Pacers got outscored 36-21, and faced a seemingly insurmountable 60-34 deficit. The deficit was at its largest when a bucket from Lebron gave the Heat an 86-49 lead with 3:39 to go in the third quarter. The Pacers outscored the Heat 17-7 to open up the final quarter, trimming the deficit to 22 points with 5:54 to go, but ultimately lost 117-92.
Chris Bosh and Lebron James each scored 25 points, as Bosh added eight rebounds, while James dished out six assists. Dwayne Wade chipped in 13 points, six rebounds and six assists, while Rashard Lewis added 13 points, and Chris “Birdman” Andersen was a single point away from a double-double.
For the Pacers, Paul George had 29 points and eight rebounds, while David West scored 16. Nobody else showed up, not even Lance Stephenson. Roy Hibbert only made one field goal.
Ultimately, the better team won, and as Pacers coach Frank Vogel said, they ran into the Michael Jordan of this generation.
Congratulations to the Miami Heat for making their fourth straight NBA Finals appearance, as their quest for a three-peat continues.