Heat Get Within One Win of NBA Finals by Beating Pacers 102-90Erik Matuszewski
The Miami Heat are one win away from a fourth straight trip to the National Basketball Association Finals after beating the Indiana Pacers 102-90.
LeBron James had 32 points and 10 rebounds last night for the Heat, who led by as many as 23 points in winning their third straight game in the Eastern Conference finals. Miami holds a three-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven playoff series, with Game 5 scheduled for tomorrow in Indiana.
“We came out with a tremendous amount of energy on both ends of the court,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said at a postgame news conference. “That’s what’s needed in this series.”
The Heat improved to 7-0 at home in the postseason, jumping out to an eight-point lead after the first quarter. Chris Bosh, held to nine points in each of the first three games in the series, scored 10 points in the opening quarter last night while hitting his first four shots.
Bosh finished with a postseason-high 25 points.
“I felt it was going to happen,” James said in a televised interview. “I told him he was going to have a great game and we got off to a fast start because of him.”
Miami, which led 49-44 at halftime, broke the game open by outscoring Indiana 31-20 in the third quarter and extended its advantage to 94-71 midway through the fourth. Dwyane Wade added 15 points for the Heat, who have won the past two NBA titles after losing the 2011 NBA Finals to the Dallas Mavericks.
“You can never get too high or too low in the postseason,” James said. “You have to stay even-keeled. That’s what we’ve built over the years.”
Paul George scored 23 points and David West had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Pacers, who had won five straight road playoff games before their last two losses in Miami.
The Western Conference finals resume tonight in Oklahoma City with the Thunder trailing the San Antonio Spurs two-games-to-one after winning Game 3 two nights ago.