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NBA playoffs: Indiana tops Miami to even series 2-2

Published May 29, 2013 12:03 pm

Challenged by their coach, Pacers outwork and outmuscle Heat to even series at 2-2.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Indianapolis • The Indiana Pacers played desperate Tuesday night.

They relentlessly attacked the basket, continually won the battle for loose balls, dominated the glass and, yes, turned the tables on Miami yet again.

Roy Hibbert finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, Lance Stephenson added 20 points, and the Pacers closed the game on a 16-6 run to pull away from the defending NBA champs for a 99-92 victory.

Just like that, the Eastern Conference finals are tied at 2 and the pressure has swung back to Miami.

"We're never going to give up. We're relentless," Hibbert said after another big game. "All those guys in there, they believe we can win. No matter what all the analysts or whoever says anything, they count us out, those guys in the locker room were ready to play and we went out and played our hearts out."

Hibbert will get no argument from coach Frank Vogel, who challenged his team to bring it or go down swinging.

Indiana scored with punch after punch.

The Pacers revved up the crowd with an opening 11-0 run, got the Heat in foul trouble and answered every challenge Miami posed in a physical game that had bodies flying, tempers flaring and LeBron James stunned after fouling out of a playoff game for only the second time in his career.

Indiana believed this was the only way it could get back into the best-of-seven series after giving home-court advantage back to Miami two nights earlier.

The players promised to treat Game 4 as if they were playing a decisive seventh game, and it showed.

An angry Paul George uncharacteristically smacked the floor after being called for a foul in the third quarter, leading to a technical foul on Vogel that seemed to get Indiana refocused. The defense continually contested shots by James and his high-scoring teammates. The four-time MVP finished with 24 points but was only 8 of 18 from the field. And Indiana reverted to its more typical style, holding a 49-30 rebounding advantage and outscoring Miami 50-32 in the paint.

"That's what the series is about, who can get to who and do it for longer periods of time. They kept us out of the paint," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We'll just have to do it better."

The Heat now face a stunning must-win scenario Thursday night in Game 5 or come back to Indy for Game 6 fighting for their playoff lives.

Over the next 48 hours, the Heat will try to figure out what went wrong in a game full of oddities.

Chris Bosh crashed to the court clutching his right knee after a first-half collision. In the second half, he limped to the locker room after appearing to twist his right ankle on a foul call but returned a few minutes later trying to shake off the injury.

Dwyane Wade limped noticeably during the first half and wound up in foul trouble, too.

Miami's three All-Stars were a dismal 14 of 39 from the field, even though James spent part of the night being defended by Stephenson because of George's foul trouble. Bosh finished with seven points, Wade with 16 and no Miami starter had more than six rebounds. —

Schedule

O Indiana 99, Miami 92

Series tied at 2-2

Thursday

Indiana at Miami, 6:30 p.m. Pacers 99, Heat 92

FG FT Reb

Miami Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

James 43:19 8-18 4-6 4-6 5 6 24

Haslem 17:46 3-5 0-0 0-2 0 1 6

Bosh 29:31 1-6 4-4 1-3 1 4 7

Chalmers 28:43 6-14 8-8 1-3 1 5 20

Wade 37:18 5-15 6-6 2-3 6 5 16

Allen 32:07 4-13 1-1 1-7 1 1 11

Andersn 18:51 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 4 0

Battier 17:23 1-3 1-2 1-2 0 3 4

Cole 12:40 2-3 0-0 1-2 1 0 4

Anthony 2:09 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0

Miller 0:14 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Totals 240:00 30-77 24-27 12-30 15 30 92

Percentages: FG .390, FT .889. 3-Point Goals: 8-23, .348 (James 4-7, Allen 2-7, Battier 1-3, Bosh 1-3, Cole 0-1, Chalmers 0-2). Team Rebounds: 8. Team Turnovers: 6 (8 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (James 3, Bosh, Wade). Turnovers: 6 (Wade 3, James 2, Allen). Steals: 7 (Chalmers 2, Haslem 2, Allen, James, Wade). Technical Fouls: James, 2:48 first.

FG FT Reb

Indiana Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts

George 33:01 4-10 4-5 1-8 3 4 12

West 38:31 5-11 4-6 4-12 2 4 14

Hibbert 40:03 10-16 3-4 6-12 1 1 23

Hill 38:45 4-13 9-10 1-5 6 2 19

Stephnsn 40:38 9-15 1-2 1-5 2 5 20

THnsbrgh 9:18 0-0 3-4 0-0 1 1 3

Augustin 17:59 0-0 0-0 0-0 3 3 0

Young 14:22 2-3 2-2 1-6 0 3 6

Mahinmi 7:23 1-2 0-0 1-1 0 2 2

Totals 240:00 35-70 26-33 15-49 18 25 99

Percentages: FG .500, FT .788. 3-Point Goals: 3-14, .214 (Hill 2-6, Stephenson 1-3, Young 0-1, George 0-4). Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: 13 (21 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (George 2, Hill, Mahinmi, West). Turnovers: 12 (George 5, Augustin 2, Hibbert 2, Hill, Stephenson, West). Steals: 3 (Young 2, Hibbert). Technical Fouls: Coach Vogel, 1:41 third.

Miami 22 25 23 22 — 92

Indiana 26 22 29 22 — 99

Attendance • 18,165

Time • 2:52.

Officials • Joe Crawford, Rodney Mott, Derrick Stafford.