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Pacers get the win over Heat to force a Game 7

Jun 2, 2013, 12:27 AM EDT

Miami Heat v Indiana Pacers - Game Six Getty Images

In a series that’s been as close and competitive throughout as possible, and where neither team has been able to beat the other twice in a row, it’s fitting that it’ll be decided by a Game 7.

The Pacers dominated defensively and dominated inside, and held off a late rally by the Heat to earn the 91-77 victory that evened the series at three games apiece.

The problems for the Heat in Game 6 were very similar to the ones they faced in Game 5 — Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh continued to be massively ineffective, and LeBron James (along with some random role players) struggled to keep Miami close without the contributions they’ve been accustomed to receiving from the Heat’s core players.

Wade and Bosh combined for just 15 points, on 4-of-19 shooting.

Credit the Pacers defense for some of that, especially where Bosh is concerned. Indiana’s size has been giving him fits all series long, and this one was no different. With Wade, it’s another story. He’s giving the Heat all he has physically, but it’s nowhere near the level he’s capable of when fully healthy. Add in the fact that Miami doesn’t have anywhere else to turn in terms of its bench unit for consistent point production, and you get this 77-point result.

Miami actually held a one-point lead at the half, thanks in part to 14 points from James. But more important was the three-point shooting that kept the Heat close — the team was 7-of-9 from three-point distance in the first half, but just 9-of-34 inside the arc. That’s how crushing Indiana’s defense was inside.

The third quarter played out as the opposite of the one we saw in Miami in Game 5. While LeBron took that one over by coming out and scoring 16 points in the period to win the game essentially all by himself, the Pacers used a stifling team defensive attack to ignite their offense in Game 6, and built a lead of as many as 17 points.

The Heat would not go quietly, however, and went on a huge run to get as close as four with 5:53 remaining before the Pacers stabilized. Miami attacked the basket on seemingly every possession during that stretch, helped by a big effort from the seldom-used Mike Miller off the bench. Miller hit consecutive three-pointers, and came up with some key rebounds and a steal while the Heat were attempting their furious comeback.

But it all fell apart for Miami on the next few possessions. A missed defensive rotation resulted in Paul George getting a look at a wide open three from the top of the arc that he calmly drained, and then David West got an offensive rebound and a dunk to quickly push the lead back to nine.

Then, for the first time all series long, LeBron drove the ball hard to the basket while Roy Hibbert was waiting for him at the rim inside. James went up and challenged Hibbert, and the two collided in the air chest to chest. But LeBron was whistled for the offensive foul, either because he led with his knee in a way similar to what Shane Battier had done against Hibbert earlier in the series (though not nearly as egregiously), or because he led with an elbow or forearm that the officials thought to be too much.

Either way, the ensuing reaction from James was to sprint the length of the floor in disbelief, which received a technical foul from the officials. A Heat assistant coach picked one up as well, and after all was said and done, the Pacers lead was back to 13 and the game was essentially finished.

James finished with 29 points on 21 shots, and the only other Heat players in double figures were Wade and Mario Chalmers with 10 apiece. Hibbert and George were the scoring leaders for the Pacers with 24 and 28 points respectively, but the team advantages in points in the paint (44-22) and rebounding (53-33) were really what pushed Indiana into the win column in this one.

Game 7 is set for Monday night in Miami, and after watching these teams battle so hard for six straight games, we shouldn’t have expected anything less.

  1. pantsfreezone - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:31 AM

    Tony Brothers is the Indiana Pacers’ series MVP.

    • erckle31 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:38 AM

      Obviously, because the Heat played lights out right?

    • melkipershero - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      No refs can cause total domination of rebounds and points in the paint.

      • pantsfreezone - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:04 AM

        Actually they can, when they don’t whistle fouls against the big men inside and allow them to stay on the court.

      • erckle31 - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:07 AM

        Dude, you are delusional. Would you like to justify the play of the other two-thirds of the big 3?

      • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:12 AM

        pants is delusion. Paul George got absolutely hammered driving the lane and I don’t recall him going to the line once. West got hammered too. If the guy would watch the games with pants on he might be able to play better attention.

      • borderline1988 - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:40 PM

        I’m not going to comment on the foul situation…but one thing I do think needs to be examined a bit deeper:

        Whenever Roy Hibbert catches the ball off the pick and roll (going to the rim)…he always takes two steps right down the middle of the lane, pump fakes, and then goes up. Do you know what I’m talking about? Is that not a walk?
        It’s odd b/c they don’t let any big man in the game get away with that except for Hibbert (for some reason).

        He scores 3 to 4 baskets a game like that.

    • mattryannolan - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:46 AM

      So, by Tony Brothers you mean Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh? Cause their 4 for 19 from the floor really helped. 15 points from 2 of your 3 big stars just won’t cut it.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:04 AM

      Whaaa! Whaaa! Typical Heat fan, crying & complaining like their diva players. Maybe if your “power forward” could get more than 5 rebounds & not be scared of contact & only hang out at the 3 point line, you’d have a chance. Maybe if Dwhine Wade wasn’t such a broken down Diva you’d have a shot. Instead just complain, it’s what you all do best, from management, to players to the bandwagoners.

      • pantsfreezone - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:09 PM

        Your tears of jealousy and rage are an enjoyable appetizer to your eventual sad realization that the Heat will still win it all.

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:54 PM

        Your pansie a$$ team has no shot if it’s properly officiated.

      • pantsfreezone - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:18 PM

        My team won a title last year, where’s your team, bucko?

      • cantonbound13 - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:21 PM

        Asterisk, biatch!

      • pantsfreezone - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        Nom nom nom, your hate and pettiness sustain me. Jealousy and envy are very becoming on you.

      • melkipershero - Jun 2, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        My God.

        DId you just say asterisk because they played 16 less regular season games? All teams played 66 games. I get it you hate the Heat, but you’re reaching here.

        Do the Bulls get an asterisk because they played the first round best of 5 and not 7?

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Still with the excuses huh?
      The Heat had TWO…count em’…TWO more fouls than the Pacers.
      The Heat took TWO…count em’…TWO more foul shots than the Pacers.
      Right this down…
      If they call a straight up game tonight (LIKE THEY DID IN GAME #6)…
      The Indiana Pacers will be the Eastern Conference representatives in this years NBA finals.
      Go Pacers!

  2. slystone111 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Can’t wait to see the LeBron apologists explain how this was not his fault.

    • melkipershero - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:40 AM

      Uh. Explain how it is?

    • melkipershero - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:46 AM

      Bosh is a no show. Wade is hurt. Allen cant hit anything. Battier cant hit anything either. The Heat cant matchup to the Pacers bigs or even close to it. Indy is the better team. Itll take a monster Lebron game to win game 7

      • kavika6 - Jun 2, 2013 at 6:35 AM

        “Battier cant hit anything either.”

        I don’t know about that. He has hit plenty of big men knees during this series.

      • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:13 AM

        Battier and Allen need to use their time off between games to practice hitting the sides of barns with basketballs.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      I’m neither a LeBron apologist or a Heat fan, but how is it LeBron’s fault that he more than doubled the next highest scorer on his own team?

      • packfaninvikeland - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:45 AM

        I am a Lebron hater, even I can’t blame Lebron for this series. He just cant do it all himself, and every NBA great had another great to compliment him. Wade is done, Bosh is a innocent bystander, Battier is about done, Ray Allen(as much as I love him) is on his way out. Even though I think Miami gets to the finals, I think it might be time for Lebron to make another “decision”.. just sayin.

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:39 AM

        Yup I think in 2014 he’s gonna take a look at Wade’s knees and realize he needs to get out of there.

    • money2long - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:00 AM

      it’s not so fun for lebron now when he isn’t playing the lowly bucks or a injured bulls squad. this is the series where he actually needs some help. this is his team’s first real test. and he finds himself in a game 7.

      • kavika6 - Jun 2, 2013 at 6:42 AM

        It’s one of the first times all season that Miami has had to play at least two games in a row against a team with an above .500 record.

      • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:14 AM

        When LeBron himself is comparing the Heat to the Cavs you know the Heat has big problems.

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Thought I saw the Heat play as badly as they could play in Game 4. I was wrong.

    So this is going to hurt tonight. But it’s far from over. Gonna wake up tomorrow. Going to listen to a ton of Pearl Jam Radio. Get home early from work on Monday. And on Monday night the better team will win.

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:06 AM

      The Pacers are clearly the better team. FYI, nobody cares about what you are going to do.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        Every comment I’ve made says the Pacers have dictated/dominated the series. Even in the 2 blowout Geat wins, the Heat won playing the Pacers type of game. Further, I expect Game 7 to be played at the Pacers pace as well. Only a fool wouldn’t.

        Buuuuuut, the Heat have won this way 3 times and had leads with less than 3 minutes left in two other times. For all the talk (albeit justified) about how the Pacers should have won this series already, the argument could be made the other way too.

        And don’t try to fight it. You care. You actually care way too much. I really wish you didn’t.

        Okay, gotta go. Crazy Mary is on now. And Mary risin up above it all, oooohhhhhh..

    • cantonbound13 - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      It’s just so refreshing to not have to read your nonsense about greatest team ever & greatest player ever. I think you’re starting to realize how ridiculous you sounded.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        We’re Faithful. We all believe!

    • loungefly74 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:58 AM

      big thumbs up just for the PJ reference. nice.

  4. tmdill18 - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    This was a flat out beat down by the Pacers. Are Heat fans seriously still whining about the officiating? What a joke. The Heat are flat out soft. pacers go to the finals.

  5. melkipershero - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:42 AM

    I love lebron but Id rather see IND vs SA at this point. SA will kill the Heat team thats playing right now. Be cool to see Indy win it all.

    • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:15 AM

      Popovich is ten times the coach Vogel is. I’d love to see his game plan against the Heat just to see how bad the Heat will look.

      • Kurt Helin - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        Don’t sell Vogel short.

      • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:05 AM

        I’m not. The Pacers have made great strides. But Vogel is in the same camp with Spoelstra: the players are better than the coach. Your mileage may vary.

      • nsideindy - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        Are you serious…or just smoking something? Vogel took over a team that had been at .500 or worse for the prior 6 years and in 2 years he has them in the Conference Finals. They haven’t made any major player moves since he took over…but now are one of the top teams in the NBA. I think coaching played a major factor in that. Popovich is a good coach, but he also has had several dominant players during his years in San Antonio. You could have coached some of those teams and they would have still won the title.

      • gmsingh - Jun 3, 2013 at 9:06 AM

        Vogel is like Spoelstra: he got where he is because of the talent of his players. Have you heard what he says while “coaching”? “Guys, if you are going to go for a dunk, make sure you make it.” Are you kidding me. Compare what Vogel and Spoelstra get of their players to what Thibodeau and Popovich get out of their players. They aren’t even in the same universe.

  6. mattryannolan - Jun 2, 2013 at 12:55 AM

    Can we just talk about how Reggie Miller and the rest of TNT’s announcing crew literally can do nothing but talk about the Heat? During the posterizing of Bosh by George Miller some how ties it back to Lebron… It’s just hard to watch a game with them all talking.

  7. casualcommenter - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:04 AM

    Not really a complicated story.

    Indiana is a very good team that plays great at home, and in this game, they played great at home (particularly on defense).

    The Heat lack front-court depth, and they were missing their 3rd best big-man in Chris Andersen. And as everybody has noticed, neither Wade or Bosh stepped up to fill the void.

    I expect a very competitive game 7 in Miami, which should be fun to watch.

  8. seattlerogueburner - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    I’ve never seen Lebron run as fast as he did in the 4th quarter after that foul. One of the funniest reactions in nba history.

    • kavika6 - Jun 2, 2013 at 6:45 AM

      Exactly what I was thinking.

    • gmsingh - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:16 AM

      LeBron acted like Wade had just punched him in the nuts.

  9. thekingdave - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Eh, come on. Does anybody really expect anything besides a Miami victory Monday? It may leave you with a crappy taste in your mouth, but we all know where this is headed. Those sour, 9 year old girl looks from LBJ and Pat Riley after the charge in the 4th qtr said it all. Book it.

    • kavika6 - Jun 2, 2013 at 6:47 AM

      Unfortunately I think you’re right.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        He is right. PBT had an article on here over a week ago saying how bad the Spurs vs. the Grizzlies was for ratings…and then the Spurs swept which caused a loss of revenue for the league. On the other hand, this Heat vs. Pacers has been very high in the ratings…which turns into revenue (commercial opportunities, etc). The story line is HUGE for Monday’s game, so even slightly casual fans will be tuning in. I bet that game 7 pulls in a rating over 8. With that said, the Heat will move on and Wade and Bosh will both have better series against the Spurs.

      • melkipershero - Jun 2, 2013 at 11:11 AM

        Plus a new NBA TV deal is coming up. I don’t think they want the ratings from a Indy vs. SA series.

  10. philtration - Jun 2, 2013 at 1:45 AM

    This series should have been over already and the Heat should be on vacation.

    • electstat - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:10 AM

      I agree. Indy should have won five of the six games

      • money2long - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:04 AM

        nice quip. but im pretty sure the pacers won at least 1 of the 5 games you’re thinking of, or this series would be over.

  11. bruininnh1984 - Jun 2, 2013 at 2:30 AM

    no way the nba let the heat lose monday night. the nba love the ratings and as long as the heat are in it, you can guarantee big ratings

  12. pistolpete0903 - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:57 AM

    there’s drool all over my floor.
    Counting the minutes towards Monday night

  13. kavika6 - Jun 2, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    San Antonio’s odds are getting higher and higher by the day. Indy is proving how over-rated Miami and the “big 3″ are.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      No, the Pacers are showing how they’re an up and coming team with a very good and big front court….also proving how small and ineffective Miami’s front court is. Regardless of the outcome of this season (I’m still confident Miami walks away with their 2nd championship) they should look to move both Wade and Bosh. Say all you want about how Wade is the face of this franchise: this is a business and he’s shown in the last 3 years that he can’t stay healthy for an entire season and playoffs.

  14. gmsingh - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    The most remarkable thing about the Heat to me is that I can’t recall ever having seen a sports team that I want to lose more than them.

  15. jbeagles23 - Jun 2, 2013 at 7:35 AM

    Game 7 is going to be over quickly. The heat will refocus and take control from te opening tip. And I’m sick of hearing that Indy should’ve won already because of game 1. The only people that say that don’t watch that game Indy needed a lot of bs to even get in that position

    • fanofthegame79 - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      I bet the Heat win by 12 or more points on Monday.

      • philtration - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:18 PM

        And I bet you and all of the other Heat “fans” do not come back here if they lose.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        I’ll be here.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jun 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        But will you when the Heat win???

  16. cantonbound13 - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    The bandwagoners are quiet yet again.

  17. jbeagles23 - Jun 2, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    Clearly the better team based on what? They’re playing better than ever on offence and its still going to game 7. A game even you know the heat are going to win

  18. rmcdonald23 - Jun 2, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Hansbrough needs to step it up tp give his teammates some real relief!!

  19. jbeagles23 - Jun 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    I agree with maybe looking to move wade. However not bosh. He’s having a bad series and I expect him to be the one to step up in game 7. Wade just isn’t showing the effort

    • melkipershero - Jun 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

      Moving Wade may alienate Lebron. Anyway, who is giving up big guys for the guy who used to be Wade?

  20. bigwii - Jun 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    The Heat better win it all because after this year major changes in South Beach. There’s no way with this team they’re winning it all next year. Especially with the Bulls and a healthy D Rose, Deng, and Noah (all were injured this year).

    An improving young Pacers team (also without they’re best player), and other young teams in the east on the rise just like Indy was this year.

    Even Boston will be a snake in the grass next year with the right set of moves and a healthy Rondo. They might surprise some people next year.

    Even if then there’s OKC and other teams in the West only getting stronger while the Heat are getting weaker other teams are getting stronger hence this series the way Wade and the other role players are playing.

    It’s hilarious I can’t wait to see how they look after next year when the Big 3 can opt out so many Heat “fans” will magically disappear.

    It’s not a guarantee they win Monday and if they do the Spurs are going to be even more of a problem so brag all you want. Call everyone “haters” we will see who gets the last laugh Heat “fans.”

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