Final

Miami wins series 4-3 (Game 6 of 7)

Miami wins series 4-3

Game 1: Wednesday, May 22nd
Pacers102Final
OT
Heat103
Game 2: Friday, May 24th
Pacers97Final
Heat93
Game 3: Sunday, May 26th
Heat114Final
Pacers96
Game 4: Tuesday, May 28th
Heat92Final
Pacers99
Game 5: Thursday, May 30th
Pacers79Final
Heat90
Game 6: Saturday, June 1st
Heat77Final
Pacers91
Game 7: Monday, June 3rd
Pacers76Final
Heat99

Heat 77

(66-16, 29-12 away)

Pacers 91

(49-32, 30-11 home)

Coverage: TNT

8:30 PM ET, June 1, 2013

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 23 17 15 2277
IND 21 18 29 2391

Top Performers

Miami: L. James 29 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl, 1 Blk

Indiana: P. George 28 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

Paul George scores 28 as Pacers force Game 7 against Heat

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana staggered Miami with one more big punch Saturday night.

Now the Pacers have a fighting chance to pull off a stunning playoff upset.

Roy Hibbert did everything but pull out the boxing gloves in Game 6, finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and continually contesting Miami's shots to help Indiana stave off elimination with an emphatic 91-77 victory over the defending champs.

Paul George scored 28 points, had eight rebounds and five assists, and the Pacers held Miami to 36.1 percent shooting as they booked a trip back to Miami for Game 7 on Monday night.

"Myself and David (West), we throw ourselves in the fray, in the paint. We like to muck it up," Hibbert said. "Paul and myself, we wanted to make sure we got this for him as well. We didn't want this to be our last game."

It wasn't.

Instead, after winning their first division crown since 2004, the Pacers are one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals for only the second time in franchise history. They lost to the Lakers 4-2 in 2000. They haven't played a decisive seventh game in the conference finals since losing to Chicago in 1998.

And amazingly, they've done it this time against the defending champions who many considered virtually invincible after winning 27 straight during the regular season, finishing with a franchise-record 66 wins and having won 23 of their last 24 road games before losing Games 4 and 6 in Indianapolis.

But the Pacers have pushed four-time MVP LeBron James and his high-scoring, high-profile teammates to the brink of elimination by punching back, and Game 6 followed a familiar story line. The Pacers had a 53-33 rebounding advantage, outscored Miami 44-22 in the paint and limited Miami's shooters to 16 of 54, 29.6 percent, from inside the arc.

James led the Heat with 29 points on 10-of-21 shooting. Nobody else scored more than 10.

How have the Pacers done it? With Hibbert controlling the inside after adding MMA training to his offseason regiment.

"Roy Hibbert is making extraordinary plays in the pocket, poise in the pocket we call it," coach Frank Vogel said. "He's getting paint catches and just having great poise, great reads. He's not plowing over guys. He had a charge in Game 5, but has been under control."

It was everything an elimination game should be. The teams traded baskets and jabs, sometimes literally, and players ignored the bumps and bruises of yet another wrestling match that has made this tough-guy series compelling.

Both teams attacked the basket, sometimes with problematic results. Indiana missed about five dunk attempts in the first half and a series of short jumpers, too, costing them precious points.

The Heat struggled, meanwhile, starting the game just 3 of 22 from inside the 3-point line. Miami's Big Three -- James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh -- went just 14 of 40. Excluding James, Miami managed only 16 baskets -- eight 3s and eight 2s.

With Chris "Birdman" Andersen suspended for the game because of a shoving incident with Indiana forward Tyler Hansbrough on Thursday, the Heat couldn't keep up with Indiana's big rebounders inside. Even Lance Stephenson, who was not effective at Miami, finished with four points, 12 rebounds and four assists.

Indiana's loud crowd created a hostile atmosphere, too. Fans chanted "Heat Are Floppers!" sporadically throughout the second half, urging the Pacers to play harder, to defend better and to make another trip home. The only way to do that is to win Game 7 and avoid a second straight playoff elimination at the hands of the Heat.

For Miami, the stakes were so high that when James was called for an offensive foul midway through the fourth quarter, he lost his cool. James protested by running from one end of the court to the other, drawing a technical foul, and when Miami assistant coach David Fizdale showed his support for the league's four-time MVP, it drew another technical.

George Hill answered by making free throws and Hibbert followed that with a layup, ending any chance of Miami making a late comeback.

James said he was trying to avoid an ejection and would up spending the last 66 seconds sitting a few seats down from the Heat bench cheering on his teammates.

"Explain it? You seen it. It was total domination by the Pacers in the third," James said when asked what happened to the league's most dominant team on Saturday. "They made a lot of shots, we didn't get too many stops and we missed some very, very easy shots."

It was a complete reversal from Game 5, when Miami took control by outscoring the Pacers 30-13 in the third.

This time, against one of the league's top offensive teams, the Pacers gave up only six points in the first eight minutes of the quarter, using a 14-2 run to turn a 40-39 halftime deficit into a 66-49 lead with 1:15 left in the quarter. Hibbert scored nine in the quarter.

Miami did close to within 68-55 after three, but it was too big a deficit to overcome -- even with James running the show.

"They just flat-out beat us in every facet of the game. They just outclassed us in that (third) quarter," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.

The Heat rallied early in the fourth, taking advantage of Indiana's 1 for 6 start from the field. When Mike Miller hit back-to-back 3s, the Pacers' lead was down to 70-64 and when James scored on a layup with 5:54 to play, the Heat were within 72-68.

But the run ended abruptly when George hit a 3, Miami's Joel Anthony was called for a loose ball foul on the offensive end and West grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a dunk to extend the lead to 77-68. Then came the technical flurry that finished it off.

West scored 11 points and had 14 rebounds despite playing with an upper respiratory infection that prompted Vogel to send him home early from the Pacers' morning shootaround.

He played with a fighter's mentality and gave the Pacers one more shot at the champs.

"We've come too far not to play," West said. "I'm not feeling good now although this win helps. I'm sure I'll be better tomorrow and I'll be ready for Monday."

Game Notes


Miami matched its season-low point total (77), which also occurred against the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Jan. 8. ... Miami finished the season 1-4 at Indiana, losing twice in the regular season and twice in the playoffs. ... After the game, Hibbert criticized the media for not recognizing the Pacers as a good team -- using a foul two-word expletive that will almost certainly draw a fine from the league. ... Former Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Carl Erskine performed the National Anthem on a harmonica.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Research Notes

The Heat have 13 players who have played in a Game 7, while Pacers have just 2 David West and Sam Young.
  [+]
LeBron James averages 34.3 PPG in game 7s. That's the highest average by any player that's played in at least 2 game such games.
  [+]
Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh shot a combined 4-19 with just 15 points, their fewest joint output in a game together (regular season or post-season), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. On Saturday, Wade only touched the ball 25 times (series average 53), and Bosh only 19 (series average 27.6), both the fewest for each in a game this series.
  [+]
In an attempt to play small, the Heat had LeBron James guard the Pacers front court of David West, Tyler Hansbrough and Ian Mahimi, which left Dwyane Wade on Paul George for majority of the game. Paul George was 11-of-19 from the field for 28 points Saturday. When guarded by Wade, he went 5-of-7 for 13 points versus 1-of-4 with LeBron James guarding him.
The Pacers outscored the Heat by 22 points in the paint Saturday. Miami's worst paint differential this postseason. The Heat failed to outscore the Pacers in the paint in each of their three losses this series.

The Pacers outscored the Heat 16-0 in the Paint in the 3rd quarter.
  [+]
The Heat have been able to take advantage of Hibbert not being on the floor this series, but Hibbert played almost 42 minutes on Saturday. With Hibbert's stifling presence, the Heat only made 9 field goals inside of 5 feet, their 2nd-fewest in a game so far this season. The only other time they made fewer field goals from this distance was January 8, 2013, versus the Pacers.
  [+]
The Heat dominated the 3rd Qtr in Game 5... Saturday it was the Pacers turn. Indy outscored Miami by 14 points in the 3rd quarter and shot over 70 percent from the field in the period. The Heat shot 25 percent and got just 6 points from LeBron. King James outscored the Pacers 16-13 in the 3rd Qtr of Game 5.
  [+]
The 36.1 FG pct for the Heat is their worst for the entire season, regular or postseason. The 36.1 FG pct is he worst for the "Big 3-era Heat" since May 15, 2012 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conf. Semis vs the Pacers. (34.6%)
With his 12th point in the 2nd quarter tonight, LeBron James has 3,643 career playoff points, passing Scottie Pippen into 12th on the NBA all-time list. He did so in 78 fewer games. Next up: Magic Johnson with 3,701.

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