Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pacers Turn Up Heat on Miami, Lead Series, 2-1 Indiana Throttles Heat 94-75 Win

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pacers Turn Up Heat on Miami, Lead Series, 2-1 Indiana Throttles Heat 94-75 Win

Article excerpt

Roy Hibbert had 19 points and 18 rebounds, George Hill scored 20 and Danny Granger 17 as the Indiana Pacers, showing more balance, toughness and togetherness than Miami, throttled the Heat, 94-75, Thursday night in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference semifinal best- of-seven series at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Overlooked in the regular season and given little chance to upset the reigning East champions, the Pacers took a 2-1 lead in the series.

Game 4 is Sunday at raucous Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

LeBron James scored 22 -- 16 in the first half before wearing down -- and Mario Chalmers added 25 for Miami. But Dwyane Wade scored only 5 on 2-of-13 shooting for the Heat, already missing forward Chris Bosh because of a strained abdominal muscle and not expected to return for this series.

Indiana outscored Miami, 51-32, in the second half, when the Pacers could do no wrong.

They made big shots, challenged everything the Heat tossed in the air and didn't back down from a Miami team that appeared poised to make an easy run to the NBA Finals after top-seeded Chicago lost Derrick Rose and was eliminated in the first round.

The Pacers, though, have other plans.

In the second half, Indiana forward David West flung James to the floor in the lane, and Granger later got in the superstar's face after a foul on a breakaway. After winning Game 2 in South Florida by three points, the Pacers wanted to show they're for real.

They're two wins from tilting the balance of power in the East.

With his team down 20 in the closing minutes, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra waved the white flag and pulled out first Wade, then James, who quickly removed his headband as he got to the bench and then pulled out the mouthpiece inscripted with XVI -- the Roman numeral for 16 -- or the number of wins it takes to get a championship.

When the final horn sounded, James, a three-time MVP, quickly exited the floor. …

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