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Dominant LeBron, resurgent Bosh have Heat one win from NBA Finals with easy Game 4 victory over Pacers

May 27, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game 4 Getty Images

LeBron James had been a quiet killer of sorts for the Heat through the first three games of the Eastern Conference Finals, putting up extremely efficient statistical lines that were impactful while barely making a sound.

With the chance to put his team one win away from a fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals, however, James made plenty of noise. He had three monstrous highlights and was in attack mode from the start, finishing with a game-high 32 points in helping the Heat to a 102-90 victory that wasn’t nearly that close, which put Miami ahead three games to one in the best-of-seven series.

There were multiple factors that enabled Miami to pull away in this one — Chris Bosh returning to form with a strong start, Lance Stephenson getting into early foul trouble which shook his confidence, and Roy Hibbert being completely ineffective on both ends of the floor for almost all of his 22 minutes on the court.

But no one, on either side, was more impactful than James.

First, LeBron finished an and-1 dunk in traffic near the end of the first half that put his team up by double digits. Next, he hit an insanely well-contested three-pointer near the end of the shot clock on his way to a 14-point third quarter outburst that helped put the game out of reach. Finally, he converted a coast-to-coast fast break slam in transition that exemplified his unwillingness to be stopped in this particular contest.

LeBron finished 13-of-21 from the field, and added 10 rebounds and five assists to his 32-point performance.

Bosh broke out of his postseason funk in a huge way, and got Miami off to the strong start. After totaling just 27 points through the first three games of this series, he came out sharp in this one, scoring 10 points in less than eight first quarter minutes, on the way to 25 points for the game on only 12 shots.

Lance Stephenson seemed to believe he got into LeBron’s head a bit in Game 3, but James had a monster Game 4, while Stephenson’s performance went largely unnoticed. Lance battled foul trouble early on, and ended up with just nine points on seven shots in over 32 minutes of action, and the bulk of that production came once the game had already been decided.

Hibbert, meanwhile, went scoreless for the fourth time in this postseason, and did so against a Heat lineup that was forced to go small once Chris Andersen was ruled out due to injury.

The Pacers are built in a way that should be able to extend this Heat team, but only if they defend as they did during the regular season at a rate that was tops in the league, and do so for 48 minutes. Consistency has been the most elusive of characteristics for Indiana over the last couple of months of the regular season, and we’re seeing that trend continue, even as the Pacers have managed to advance this deep into the postseason.

But when LeBron is in attack mode as he was in this one, we’ve yet to see a team be able to stop him at any time over the past few seasons.

  1. cantonbound13 - May 27, 2014 at 6:38 AM

    Quick recap: Pacers win game 1 easily. Early in a close game 2, Dirty Wade knees Paul George in the head causing a concussion. The Pacers are never the same again. Spoelstra is a genius!

    • gofinsgoheatfloria - May 27, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      Uh – the guy Wade kneed was their leading scorer last night.

      • thekiller678 - May 27, 2014 at 2:54 PM

        Just stop responding to this moron. He only does this for attention.

      • jimeejohnson - May 27, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        85 thumbs downs!

    • hehateme2 - May 27, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      Heat are 11-2 in the playoffs. Spacers are pretenders.

  2. wallabear - May 27, 2014 at 7:08 AM

    Bosh-osaurus, he had he game on; Cole goin’ underrated; LeKing divin’ ‘n’ dunkin. Ain’t no Spurs gon’ hang wit no Heat.

    • pputnam100 - May 27, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      I hear you, I’m delighted so far, but I fear the Spurs. One difference, the Spurs are better this year and I don’t think the Heat; I hope I’m wrong but I’m worried, the Spurs would pick the Pacers to pieces. I fear thre Spurs are the one team smart enough to withstand the Heat’s pressure

  3. 1972wasalongtimeago - May 27, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    The Heat laid to waste the franchises of the Celtics, Bulls, Knicks, and Nets over these past 4 years; but they saved their best work for the Pacers.

    The Pacers entered the season as the “media darlings” and the “good guys” set to overtake the “bad guys” in Miami. Well, the Pacers have turned the country against them like Rocky did to Drago.

    Vogel screaming at Battier during a 3.
    Hibbert complaining about Vogel’s strategy.
    Lance talking about injuring Wade’s knee
    Lance calling LeBron weak
    George blaming a playoff loss on the refs in a game in which his team never led.

    They’re not ready.

    Curb stomp time Wednesday night.

  4. jbeagles23 - May 27, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    The pacers were never ready. That presser by George last night shows how immature that team is

    • gostlcards5 - May 27, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      I agree. There were questionable calls, but get this…’s the NBA….there are ALWAYS questionable calls, and that goes both ways. The only egregiously bad call was the Wade flop on Lance’s drive, since Lance’s elbow never actually touched Wade.

      Either way, this loss was on the Pacers, they played awful on offense and defense. If not for decent games by George and West, they would have been blown out much earlier.

  5. jzone954 - May 27, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Following the game 7 victory in 2013 , Lebron is on the TNT post with magic sitting next to him and I quote “you know Lebron, and I really mean this….I think you are going to be THE BEST EVER”

  6. boutdatlife305 - May 27, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Loan me $50. Dollars !!! Hahaha !!!

  7. babyfarkmcgeezax - May 27, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Looks like Stern left the new commish the instructions on rigging everything in Miami’s favor. Yet another scripted championship for Lebron, coming right up.

    • turnmymicup - May 27, 2014 at 4:41 PM

      Implying the NBA is rigged has to be one of the most ridiculous notions used nowadays. What part of the game was set up? Hibbert not contributing on offense or defense? The 20 points Miami scored off turnovers? The disappearence of Stephson? If the Pacers kept playing the same way after game 1 maybe this would be a series. Once the inconsistency caught up with them it was over. You don’t have to be a Heat fan to give credit when its due.

      • babyfarkmcgeezax - May 27, 2014 at 5:00 PM

        “Implying the NBA is rigged has to be one of the most ridiculous notions used nowadays.”

        Tim Donaghy.

  8. zackd2 - May 27, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Hibbert completely ineffective? But I thought he proved his doubters wrong cause he had that one good game this playoffs? Lol

    • gostlcards5 - May 27, 2014 at 2:01 PM

      He had more than 1 good game. It was like 1 great and 2 good games consecutively. Either way, his random disappearing act continues.

  9. nard100 - May 27, 2014 at 11:02 AM

    So what happened in game 1. Did the league have achange of heart between games 1 and 2 or di the Pacers just play better. Face it, they just got shut down completely. the only guy who showed up was West. He has been the only consistent player for the Pacers. And when Stepenson made his comments, he woke the dragon and got BURNED. However, I do expect that they will wake up in Indy and then all will be “fair” again – LOL.

  10. golfrangeman - May 27, 2014 at 11:21 AM

    @baby here’s you chance. Explain you stern rigged this,be specific !!

  11. bigrele - May 27, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    Ok so where are those idiots who claimed Pacers in 6 & 7? WHERE YOU AT?! Let’s go! Cmon out! Ha! Disappeared like a fart in the wind lol!

    • gostlcards5 - May 27, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      I did not ever make any predictions, but I did think the Pacers would play closer to the Heat than this, even after their crappy end of season and first round series.

      • jimeejohnson - May 27, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        Takes real man to say what you said, unlike cowards whose judgment is clouded by hate.

  12. golfrangeman - May 27, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    @baby you just pointed out to the world how ignorant you are. If the nba was rigged Tim donaghy wouldn’t have been the only one that served jail time. He would have sung like a canary to get immunity. You just unwittingly proved how wrong you are.

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