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

Miami wins series 4-3

Game 1: Wednesday, May 22nd
Game 2: Friday, May 24th
Game 3: Sunday, May 26th
Game 4: Tuesday, May 28th
Game 5: Thursday, May 30th
Game 6: Saturday, June 1st
Game 7: Monday, June 3rd

Heat 92

(66-16, 29-12 away)

Pacers 99

(49-32, 30-11 home)

Coverage: TNT

8:30 PM ET, May 28, 2013

Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 22 25 23 2292
IND 26 22 29 2299

Top Performers

Mia: L. James 24 Pts, 6 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

Ind: R. Hibbert 23 Pts, 12 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

Pacers charge back to even East finals at 2

Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers played desperate Tuesday night.

They relentlessly attacked the basket, continually won the battle for loose balls, dominated the glass and, yes, turned the tables on Miami yet again.

Roy Hibbert finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, Lance Stephenson added 20 points, and the Pacers closed the game on a 16-6 run to pull away from the defending NBA champs for a 99-92 victory.

Just like that, the Eastern Conference finals are tied at 2 and the pressure has swung back to Miami.

"We're never going to give up. We're relentless," Hibbert said after another big game. "All those guys in there, they believe we can win. No matter what all the analysts or whoever says anything, they count us out, those guys in the locker room were ready to play and we went out and played our hearts out."

Hibbert will get no argument from coach Frank Vogel, who challenged his team to bring it or go down swinging.

Indiana scored with punch after punch.

The Pacers revved up the crowd with an opening 11-0 run, got the Heat in foul trouble and answered every challenge Miami posed in a physical game that had bodies flying, tempers flaring and LeBron James stunned after fouling out of a playoff game for only the second time in his career.

Indiana believed this was the only way it could get back into the best-of-seven series after giving home-court advantage back to Miami two nights earlier.

The players promised to treat Game 4 as if they were playing a decisive seventh game, and it showed.

An angry Paul George uncharacteristically smacked the floor after being called for a foul in the third quarter, leading to a technical foul on Vogel that seemed to get Indiana refocused. The defense continually contested shots by James and his high-scoring teammates. The four-time MVP finished with 24 points but was only 8-of-18 from the field. And Indiana reverted to its more typical style, holding a 49-30 rebounding advantage and outscoring Miami 50-32 in the paint.

"That's what the series is about, who can get to who and do it for longer periods of time. They kept us out of the paint," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We'll just have to do it better."

The Heat now face a stunning must-win scenario Thursday night in Game 5 or will come back to Indy for Game 6 fighting for their playoff lives.

Over the next 48 hours, the Heat will try to figure out what went wrong in a game full of oddities.

Chris Bosh crashed to the court clutching his right knee after a first-half collision. In the second half, he limped to the locker room after appearing to twist his right ankle on a foul call but returned a few minutes later, trying to shake off the injury.

Dwyane Wade limped noticeably during the first half and wound up in foul trouble, too.

Miami's three All-Stars were a dismal 14-of-39 from the field, even though James spent part of the night being defended by Stephenson because of George's foul trouble. Bosh finished with seven points and Wade with 16, and no Miami starter had more than six rebounds.

"We had them right where we wanted them, but every time we would get a stop, especially in the fourth quarter, we didn't come up with the rebound," Bosh said. "It was there for us, but we didn't capitalize."

Nobody was more frustrated than James, who was called for a technical foul in the first quarter and four fouls over the final 12 minutes -- the last an offensive foul. After walking from one end of the court to the Miami bench, James sat disbelievingly on a media table and spent the final 56 seconds mumbling to the officials.

Again he promised to make amends.

"It was a couple of fouls that I didn't feel like were fouls, personal fouls on me, but that's how the game goes sometimes," James said.

Miami had its chances, but Indiana simply refused to back down.

When the Heat used a 9-0 run to take a 60-54 lead early in the third quarter, Indiana answered immediately with a 10-0 run to regain the lead. When James committed an offensive foul with 2 seconds left in the third quarter, his first turnover since the end of Game 2, the Pacers got a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Stephenson to make it 77-70.

When the Heat rallied in the fourth, charging back from an 81-72 deficit to take an 86-83 lead, the Pacers answered again. George drew a foul on James and wound up tying the score on a three-point play with 5:38 to go.

Ray Allen broke the tie with a 3-pointer from the left wing late in the shot clock, but Indiana answered again. This time, David West made one of two free throws, Stephenson knocked down a 19-footer, and Hibbert scored on a putback and then completed a three-point play to end the 7-0 run that gave Indiana a 94-89 lead with 90 seconds left.

Miami never got another chance to tie it.

"I just felt the guys showed a lot of fight," West said. "We've got a group of guys on this team that are full of heart. A tough group, willing to step up to the challenge. We knew this was a make-or-break game for us."

Game notes

West finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds. ... Indiana is now 3-1 against Miami at home this season and 7-1 at home in the playoffs. ... Two days after shooting 54.5 percent against the Pacers, Miami was just 30-of-77 for 39 percent. ... Katie Stam, the 2009 Miss America from Indiana, sang the national anthem.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Research Notes

Roy Hibbert has 20+ points and 10+ boards in 3 straight games. The only other player ever to do that vs the Heat in the postseason was Dirk Nowitzki in the 2011 Finals.
LeBron James was whistled for a foul every 7.2 minutes last night. That's nearly 3 times as frequently as he was this postseason entering Game 4.
The Heat went 1-of-9 in the final 5 minutes of the 4th quarter Tuesday, with an average shot distance of 22.8 feet on those attempts. The Pacers were able to get inside more frequently in the final 5 minutes (15.1 avg. FGA distance) and outscored the Heat 6-0 in the paint. The Pacers outscored the Heat 50-32 inside the paint in Game 4 after the Heat outscored the Pacers by 28 the first 3 games of the series.
Roy Hibbert (in this series) and Dirk Nowitzki (2011 NBA Finals) are the only players in the Heat's "Big 3" era with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in 3 straight postseason games against the Heat.
Note that LeBron had 5 TOTAL fouls in the 5 road playoff games for the Heat this postseason, and 6 tonight. Heat on Road This Postseason 1st 5 Games Tuesday W-L 5-0 Lost PPG diff +15.0 -7 Opp FG pct 38.7 50.0 James fouls 5 6
The Pacers had 32 points on drives to the basket in Game 4, led by 9 from Lance Stephenson, their most points on drives in a game this series. The Pacers were 11-of-17 shooting on drives after shooting 41% on such plays in the first 3 games of the series.
LeBron James was 1-of-6 on post ups in Game 4 after shooting 5-of-9 with 14 points on such plays in Game 3. James was double-teamed on 3 of his field goal attempts in the post in Game 4, compared with only 1 attempt in Game 3.
If the Heat lose tonight's game, they're heading back home with the series tied 2-2. In the Bosh-James-Wade era, they're 4-1 at home in "swing" playoff games. The only loss came in last year's Conference Finals against the Celtics in a series they came back to win. Heat In Home Games With Series Tied After 0-0 "Big 3" Era Series Next Game 2012 Thunder 1-1 Won 2012 Celtics 3-3 Won 2012 Celtics 2-2 Lost 2012 Pacers 2-2 Won 2011 Bulls 1-1 Won
Every time in the Heat's Bosh-James-Wade era that they've held a 3-1 series lead, they clinched the series in the very next game. Heat With 3-1 Playoff Series Lead "Big 3" Era 2013 Bulls Won in 5 2012 Thunder Won in 5 2012 Knicks Won in 5 2011 Bulls Won in 5 2011 Celtics Won in 5 2011 76ers Won in 5

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