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It was a complete reversal from Game 5, when Miami took control by outscoring the Pacers 30-13 in the third.
This time, against one of the league’s top offensive teams, the Pacers gave up only six points in the first eight minutes of the quarter, using a 14-2 run to turn a 40-39 halftime deficit into a 66-49 lead with 1:15 left in the quarter. Hibbert scored nine in the quarter.
Game 7Indiana at Miami
Monday, 6:30 p.m.
TV » TNT
Miami did close to within 68-55 after three, but it was too big a deficit to overcome — even with James running the show.
"They just flat-out beat us in every facet of the game. They just outclassed us in that (third) quarter," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.
The Heat rallied early in the fourth, taking advantage of Indiana’s 1 for 6 start from the field. When Mike Miller hit back-to-back 3s, the Pacers’ lead was down to 70-64 and when James scored on a layup with 5:54 to play, the Heat were within 72-68.
But the run ended abruptly when George hit a 3, Miami’s Joel Anthony was called for a loose ball foul on the offensive end and David West grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on a dunk to extend the lead to 77-68. Then came the technical flurry that finished it off.
West scored 11 points and had 14 rebounds despite playing with an upper respiratory infection that prompted Vogel to send him home early from the Pacers’ morning shootaround.
He played with a fighter’s mentality and gave the Pacers one more shot at the champs.
"We’ve come too far not to play," West said. "I’m not feeling good now although this win helps. I’m sure I’ll be better tomorrow and I’ll be ready for Monday."
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