LeBron James fouled out with 58 seconds left in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and the Indiana Pacers used the momentum to help close out the Miami Heat, 99-92, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday night.
The Pacers finished the fourth quarter on a 16-6 run to put the Heat away in the final minutes. Dwyane Wade committed a critical traveling violation with 26.9 seconds remaining and the Pacers up by four, and the Pacers were able to bounce back from there.
James led all scorers with 24 points, six rebounds and five assists. Mario Chalmers chipped in and added 20 points. Wade finished with 16 points and six assists.
The Pacers got a balanced effort, as all five starters scored in double figures. Hibbert stole the show with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting, and he grabbed 12 rebounds to notch a double-double. Paul George struggled early on, but managed to pour in 12 points and grab eight rebounds.
After a back-and-forth second half, Lance Stephenson's jumper from the left elbow tied the game at 89 points apiece with 3:28 remaining in the fourth quarter before Roy Hibbert scored on consecutive putbacks on the next two possessions, the second of which was a three-point play, to extend the lead to five with 1:30 left in the game.
James showed why he's the reigning MVP, though, as he answered right back with a three-pointer of his own to cut it to two before Hibbert again scored on a tip that extended it to four with under one minute remaining.
The Pacers had a string of empty possessions down the stretch, and the Heat took advantage of their fourth-quarter mistakes with easy transition baskets.
The third quarter ended with the Pacers up by seven points after they staved off Miami's blazing start to the second half. The Heat jumped out to a six-point lead early, before the Pacers used 58-percent shooting from the field to come back and take the commanding lead. Hill came back and scored six points in the third after going relatively quiet in the second.
James picked up his game on the defensive end in the second half and sparked several Miami runs, including one that he capped off with a big three-pointer at the six-minute mark that tied the game at 83 points apiece and took the air out of the home crowd.
The story of the first half was turnovers and sloppy play on behalf of the Pacers. In the first 24 minutes, they committed seven giveaways and forced only three for the Heat. Miami scored 10 points off Indiana's turnovers, and that allowed them to stay within one point despite shooting just 40 percent from the field and 38 percent from the three-point line.
The start of the first quarter was all Indiana, as they opened up the game with an 11-2 run. Miami came roaring back, however, to close out the quarter and keep the game within four with the score, 26-22.
Indiana kept the game within reach with its stout defense. They held the defending champs to 39 percent shooting and 35 percent from the three-point line. The Pacers shot 50 percent from the field to help mitigate their 13 turnovers that resulted in 21 points by the Heat.
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