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Heat crush Pacers in Game 6, advance to fourth straight NBA Finals

May 30, 2014, 11:30 PM EDT

LeBron James LeBron James

Early in the fourth quarter of Game 6 between the Heat and the Pacers, with the contest having long since been decided, the Miami faithful rained down a chant of “overrated” on Paul George and the rest of his Indiana teammates.

That’s ultimately how these Pacers will be remembered, after finishing the year with the league’s top rated defense and the best record in the Eastern Conference, but stumbling through the last two months of the regular season and similarly staggering through three rounds of the playoffs, and six games of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The opposite might be true of this Miami Heat team, considering the feat that was achieved by securing Friday’s 117-92 victory — a fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals.

The last team to do that was the Boston Celtics from 1984-87, which ironically, featured Pacers president Larry Bird playing in his prime.

In order to even get to this point, the Pacers needed foul trouble contributing to a single-digit scoring performance from LeBron James in Game 5, along with Paul George going off for 37 points just so Indiana could avoid elimination by hanging on for a three-point victory at home.

In Game 6, there were no such aberrations.

The Pacers opened the game with a 9-2 start, before the wheels came completely off after the first four minutes. Miami’s lead was double-digits by the end of the first quarter, reached 26 points by the halftime intermission, and peaked with 3:39 to play in the third, when a finger roll from James put the Heat up by a ridiculous 37 points.

Indiana played as though the result was a foregone conclusion. George, who was so effective in Game 5, finished the first half 0-of-6 from the field with just a single point in over 21 minutes. Lance Stephenson, perhaps feeling as though his team had no chance from a pure basketball standpoint, upped the ante with his tactics of irritation, but the Heat maintained their composure, and only seemed to be inspired to bury the Pacers as much as possible.

LeBron appeared to be particularly locked in from the start, scoring 11 points in the first 12 minutes, and helping to set the tone for his team on a night where the Eastern Conference title would eventually be secured.

This season for the Pacers will be lost in history, and the overrated label will only stick for those of us who remember how a team that looked so strong over the first half of the season wobbled to a disappointing finish. Miami, meanwhile, will be ultimately judged on whether or not they can win a third straight title — even though the feat of getting to the Finals in four consecutive seasons is much more rare, if not as genuinely impressive.

100 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. bballhistorian - May 31, 2014 at 12:53 AM

    Cant wait for the Tell-All book from this past Pacers season.

    • realfootballfan - May 31, 2014 at 2:23 AM

      There’s nothing to tell. The rest of the team hates Stephenson. The end.

  2. campcouch - May 31, 2014 at 12:57 AM

    Pretty cool seeing Greg Oden get some PT.

  3. jimthebuilder27 - May 31, 2014 at 1:17 AM

    Bwahahahaha!

    When the chips are on the table, the Pacers can’t win their way to the Finals!

    Still ain’t won nothing yet yet YET!

    Hey Stephenson, you still believe in the prom queen?

    How’s that home court advantage going guys? Looks like Roy Hibbert was taking an early vacation!

    By the way Pacers fans, this is how a real team does it!

  4. phillysports1 - May 31, 2014 at 1:36 AM

    This is right about the time when all the fake heat fans come out and buy their Miami gear and pretend they know anything about basketball. Worst fan base in all sports!

    • cantonbound13 - May 31, 2014 at 5:27 AM

      Yup, you nailed it. Don’t worry, they’ll all be gone after they lose to the Spurs. They scatter like roaches after a loss.

      • nard100 - May 31, 2014 at 7:46 AM

        You mean the way the Pacers were supposed to destroy the Heat this year? Prophet you are NOT! I know it’s just the hate talkin’

    • hehateme2 - May 31, 2014 at 8:55 AM

      No, just not as whiny and excused making as you trolls. What …was it the refs again tonight? Losers.That was a pathetic attempt! Spacers don’t even belong on the same court as THE HEAT!

  5. prareedoggin - May 31, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Whatever you say philly…. You have bitter beer face

    • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 5:36 AM

      And a teeny tiny little PEABRAIN!

  6. realfootballfan - May 31, 2014 at 2:20 AM

    That was brutal. The Pacers need a point guard and an offensive guru next to Vogel on the bench badly.

  7. antistratfordian - May 31, 2014 at 3:01 AM

    The Heat made a strong statement in this series. They completely obliterated the popular notion that Hibbert and West were going to be their undoing. I think that idea is permanently dead now. The two Chrises deserve a special mention here.

    And a hat tip to the Pacers and their fans who frequent this place. I’d say “good job, good effort!” but that would be inappropriate for this game. Nevertheless, they/you still deserve a good-game handshake for hanging tough the last 3 seasons. Maybe we’ll see you here again next year.

    • gostlcards5 - May 31, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      You’re absolutely right. If not for whatever caused this team to melt down and really not play well together, I think this series would have been a lot better. Perhaps not, but we won’t ever know.

      I like Coach Vogel a lot, but he obviously lost the locker room, and I don’t think he adjusted well to matchups at all in any stage of the playoffs. Everyone questions whether George Hill is good enough at PG, and when he isn’t consistent, that’s hard to argue.

      Either way, the Heat showed why they’re the champs. The Pacers, in this series, showed why they’re not. PG will continue to develop. Hopefully, we can get the right pieces around him and keep this rivalry going.

  8. jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 5:27 AM

    CantonPeaBrain; you’re on the losing side for the third year in a row. Congratulations, New Yawk pea brain! Wallow in the hate that is a New Yawker’s birth rite and enjoy it like Satan enjoys crack!

    • cantonbound13 - May 31, 2014 at 5:31 AM

      As far as I’m concerned I’m a champion 4 straight years. I’m the first one you think about before, during & after games. You can’t wait to comment after a win but were no where to be found after game 5. Typical bandwagon loser!
      Let’s go Rangers!!!!

      • jimeejohnson - May 31, 2014 at 5:33 AM

        Keep whining pea brain loser. It suits the type of LOSER you are: a LOSER’S LOSER! Youcan be proud that your parents raised you to be a peabrain New Yawk a$$hole.

      • cantonbound13 - May 31, 2014 at 8:52 AM

        Pathetic keyboard tough guy

      • hehateme2 - May 31, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        Delusional and out of touch with realist. You a LOSER 4 straight years. Wallow in it troll.

      • heat256 - May 31, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        Ah, Cantonpedophile with his usual “bravado”. Shouldn’t you be looking for kids to snatch before it rains?

    • fanofthegame79 - May 31, 2014 at 11:42 AM

      Guys, don’t stoop to canton’s level. I know we’re all guilty of it, but, as the old saying goes: If you argue with an idiot, it’s hard to tell who the idiot is. Just roll over his posts and take comfort in the fact that The Heat are on their way to a fourth straight NBA Finals and Threepeat!!

      • turnmymicup - May 31, 2014 at 10:26 PM

        Thx you. That’s all that matters. Canton and anyone else that refuses to recognize greatness can enjoy the Heat for a 4th straight finals. BTW PreLebron Heat fan here. Looking more forward to seeing Wade & Haslem get another ring. Lebron puts the icing on the cake.

  9. jzone954 - May 31, 2014 at 5:40 AM

    “He’s the greatest sf ever to play this game and climbing the chest as best player ever”- Mark Jackson
    “We played against the bulls of our time, THE MJ OF OUR TIME”- Frank Vogel

    • wordyduke - May 31, 2014 at 6:43 AM

      “Climbing the list,” for pity’s sake.

      • gostlcards5 - May 31, 2014 at 11:40 AM

        I don’t think that’s an inaccurate statement. They showed numbers that place him in the greatest SF of all time position. Let’s not pretend it’s foregone that he be considered GOAT. It isn’t. He’s definitely in the discussion, and he’s still pretty young. Kudos to LBJ.

  10. iblack501 - May 31, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    the heat were/are the better team. battier is a better player than his ‘dirty’ plays. haslem just needs to go away. reload heat. i love watching the king & his court show how its done. pacer fan rooting for the heat!

    • nard100 - May 31, 2014 at 7:50 AM

      They are infectious aren’t they!

  11. sportsfan18 - May 31, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Reaching the Finals four consecutive years is impressive… even in the weak Eastern conference…

    Now, coming out of the Western conference four year in a row would really be something…

    I mean, when a team OUT of the playoffs in the west would be the 3rd seed in the east, well that’s all the justification necessary for what was said above…

  12. indrathegod - May 31, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    I said the Heat would win in 5. Either way, thank you Lance for giving us extra motivation to send your incompetent self fishing.. Even though it hurts to say because MJ is my favorite player of all time, I think LeBron just might end up being the GOAT. I love this game.

  13. heat256 - May 31, 2014 at 11:35 AM

    I honestly did not expect such a blowout game. I would have figured the Pacers would play tougher D and George would pick up where he left off. Instead, they let the Heat live in the paint, didn’t cause turnovers, and Lance being Lance didn’t help. Outside of West and Lance, no one seemed to be up to playing. That has to be on Vogel. They just looked like they had no idea what to do. Sad end for a proud team. The Heat just put them down and never let them back up. They are definitely playing more efficient offense and that has increased each year. A healthy and rested Wade is a big X factor in the Finals. If it is the Spurs they are facing a team that is clicking and has shown they can beat them I am not 100% sold on the Thunder as they can be ISO heavy and the Heat’s D may be able to neutralize that. Of course, who the hell knows what will unfold. That’s why they play the game.

  14. coffeeblack95616 - May 31, 2014 at 1:07 PM

    Yawn. How boringly predictable: the team everyone knew would make it out of the East makes it out of the East. Freaking snooze-fest. At least the West had some interesting match-ups.
    Maybe next year LeBron can convince some other top talents to go to Milwaukee and win a few artificial championships there. Then all the Milwaukee fans can come out of hibernation and be as fake as the new Miami fans.

    • bcwildcat24 - May 31, 2014 at 4:35 PM

      Fella if it bores you so much, don’t watch. It’s really that simple. You’re just pissed that Lebron is back in the finals when everyone was convinced he was overrated. So you try and make yourself feel better by accusing the nba of being fixed.

  15. bcwildcat24 - May 31, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2081632-did-indiana-pacers-revenge-obsession-doom-them-against-miami-heat

  16. birdsofprey305 - May 31, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    @coffeeblack95616

    I highly doubt you would have a problem if he opted out and went to your team. Please look at the heats record against the last 4 years because you have no clue what your talking about.

  17. themagicfanguy - Jun 1, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    “Prelebron heat fan” LOL! It’s good to lie on the internet.

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