For most of the day, things weren't going well for David West. Fighting a respiratory infection, West missed morning shoot around and then struggled through 36 minutes of the Pacers' 91-77 victory over the Miami Heat to force Game 7. Despite those struggles, West's fourth-quarter performance had his head coach and teammates praising his leadership.
Through three quarters West was 1-for-8, missing several shots in the paint. Then in the fourth quarter, when the Heat were on a 17-4 run, West made two big baskets as the Pacers responded with a 9-0 run of their own. West would go on to make two more baskets as the Pacers again pulled away from Miami in Game 6. After the game, Pacers head coach Frank Vogle said West's performance left him speechless.
"All heart. That guys is all heart and it's contagious," Vogel said. "I don't really have the words to describe it to be honest with you."
Paul George told reporters he could tell West wasn't "fully there" but that he and the rest of the Pacers knew West would fight through the illness. Roy Hibbert said he and George were determined to get the Pacers to Game 7 for West.
" He's our closer and he played extremely well under the conditions he was in. He gave it his all," Hibbert said. "Paul and myself, we wanted to make sure we got this win for him because, you know, we didn't want this to be our last game."
No update on West's condition was available after the game. Game 7 is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET Monday at American Airlines Arena. It can be seen on TNT.
Quotes via the NBA's live press conference stream.