Pacers beat James, Heat to bring 1-1 back home
Updated: 2013-05-25 16:03
MIAMI - After a same tough fight against defending champion Miami Heat as a couple of days ago, Indiana Pacers finally clinched the victory.
The third seed in Eastern conference outscored the Heat 97-93 by forcing LeBron James two turnovers in a row in the final minute.
Miami Heat's LeBron James walks off the court after their loss to the Indiana Pacers during Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff in Miami, Florida May 24, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
The game reached 93-93 after Chris Bosh made two free throws with 1 minute 44 seconds left. When the game only had less than one minute to go, Miami put their fate on the hand of James, who had already taken 36 points in the first 46 minutes, but James screwed up.
"I made two mistakes tonight," said James.
"That hurt our team, and that hurt more than anything. Let my teammates down."
It was the fourth loss for the Heat in nearly four months, and the second postseason loss this year, both of which happened on home court.
"We had our opportunities," said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, "enough opportunities in the fourth quarter to close it out."
The Heat was up by four with 6:09 minutes left, only to see Lance Stephenson and Roy Hibbert making two baskets to pull the Pacers back into the game.
Pacers dominated in the first three quarters. The top defensive team in the league rushed a 14-1 run after the 37-37 tie, establishing a 13-point advantage in the second quarter. However, three technical fouls in that quarter slowed the Pacers down, and the Heat managed to cut the gap to six after Mike Miller hit a three pointer just before the whistle of the first half.
The Heat was lucky enough to hit two buzzer-beaters, one in the second quarter and the other in the third. The final quarter tied for five times as neither team was able to lead by more than four points.
"These are two close, competitive games that can go either way, " said Spoelstra.
Heat and Pacers also split the first two games of the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinal Series, which ended with the 4-1 victory for Heat.
"We haven't done anything yet," said Pacers center Roy Hibbert, who finished the game with the team-best 29 points and 10 rebounds.
"We won one game, but a lot of us feel we should be up 2-0 obviously with the last play of Game 1."
Paul George collected 22 points for the Pacers. George Hill finished with 18 and David West took home 13.
Each "Big Three" member contributed double digits for the Heat. Bosh scored 17 and Dwyane Wade made 14. None of other Heat players scored more than seven.
Pacers now have the home court advantage when the two face each other on Sunday in the best-of-seven series.