The Indiana Pacers took less than three minutes to ignite their home crowd with an 11-0 lead, and then drew three crucial fouls in the final six minutes to foul LeBron James out to hold onto a 99-92 win. Roy Hibbert, the 7-foot-2 Pacers center, dominated again with 23 points and 12 rebounds and made Chris “Birdman” Andersen a non-factor with four quick fouls and drew one of the crucial fouls on James down the stretch.
|LeBron James, SF||24||6||Lance Stephenson, SG||20||5|
|Mario Chalmers, PG||20||5||David West, PF||14||4|
|Dwyane Wade, SG||16||5||Paul George, SF||12||4|
|Chris Bosh, C||7||4|
|Chris Andersen, PF||0||4|
Throughout the game players were often strewn on the floor from the 55 called fouls and many other physical plays.
Despite the early lead, the Pacers had to bounce back from a 14-2 run by the Heat late by winning and thrilling back-and-forth.
The Pacers were up 81-72 and about to score to take a double digit lead when they were whistled for a tough 24-second violation after replays showed a shot at hit the rim before what would have been their third straight offensive rebound with 8:26 to play.
The Heat stormed back in the next two and a half minutes to take an 86-83 lead when James stole and passed ahead to Wade who went to the rim with David West and Paul George chasing. West hit Wade in the back of his head, on a play commentators suggested might get him a flagrant foul on review, and Wade still laid the ball up, drawing a goal tend by George and hitting the free throw.
Not to be outdone, George went to the other end, driving to the hoop and drawing a crucial foul on James to get the basket and free throw to tie the game at 86-86.
George then seemed to get a crucial steal at the other end, but Ray Allen scrambled to get the ball back and throw up a three-pointer and he jumped out of bounds in the corner that fell to put the Heat up 89-86.
The Pacers finally got ahead again by virtue of Hibbert dominating the offensive glass. George missed a jumper with 2:44 to play, but Hibbert gobbled up the miss and laid it in to make it 91-89 Pacers with 2:42 to play.
Less than a minute later, Stephenson missed a three-pointer, but West and Hibbert grabbed consecutive offensive rebounds, with Hibbert laying it in as he was fouled by James – hitting the free throw to make it 94-89.
James hit a three-pointer 10 seconds later to make it 94-92, but on the next offensive trip James was called for a trip on Stephenson on a pick to go to the bench – fouling out for only the second time in 128 playoff games and the Heat would not score again in the 99-92 loss.