Monday, December 18, 2017
Sports

Pacers rip Heat, force Game 7 in East final

INDIANAPOLIS — Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 11 rebounds, Paul George finished with 28 points and the Pacers forced a deciding game in the Eastern Conference finals with a 91-77 victory over the Heat on Saturday night.

LeBron James scored 29 for the defending NBA champions, who will host Game 7 on Monday.

Dwyane Wade was limited to 10 as he and Chris Bosh (five) struggled again.

The Pacers opened the third quarter on a 14-2 run as the Heat went 1-for-11 from the field. Indiana led by 17 late in the third.

Miami got within four before the Pacers pulled away again.

The teams traded jabs, sometimes literally, and players ignored the bumps and bruises of yet another physical game.

"Myself and David (West), we throw ourselves in the fray, in the paint. We like to muck it up," Hibbert said. "Paul and myself, we wanted to make sure we got this for him as well. We didn't want this to be our last game."

Both teams attacked the basket with sometimes problematic results. Indiana missed about five dunk attempts in the first half and a series of short jumpers. The Heat struggled, too, starting just 3-for-22 from inside the 3-point line. Miami was 16-for-54 from inside the arc for the game.

Indiana's fans chanted "Heat are floppers!" sporadically throughout the second half, urging the Pacers to make another trip home. The only way they can do that is if they reach the NBA Finals for the first time since 2000.

The emotions were so high that when James was called for an offensive foul midway through the fourth quarter, he protested by running from one end of the court to the other, drawing a technical. Miami's bench also drew a technical on the play.

George Hill answered by making free throws, and Hibbert followed that with a layup to turn away Miami's comeback attempt.

Miami played without Chris "Birdman" Andersen, who was suspended for one game by the league after getting into a skirmish with Tyler Hansbrough in Game 5. He was called for a flagrant 1, but after a review, the league upgraded the foul to a flagrant 2.

Grant Hill retires: Seven-time All-Star Grant Hill retired from the NBA after 19 seasons, ending a career interrupted by injuries that included an Olympic gold medal.

The announcement came as no surprise since Hill, 40, had been mulling his future since the Clippers were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Hill appeared in just 29 games this past season and had one year left on his deal.

"I've been hinting at it for the last few years and you get to a point where you just don't want to do it anymore. But I've enjoyed it, I've loved it," Hill said while appearing on TNT.

The forward averaged 16.7 points during a career that also included stints with the Pistons, Magic and Suns.

Hill starred in college at Duke, where he won consecutive national titles in 1991 and '92. He won a gold medal on the U.S. basketball team at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Ex-player improving after crash: Former All-Star guard Mookie Blaylock, 46, was upgraded to serious condition at an Atlanta hospital, a day after his sport-utility vehicle crashed head-on into a van and killed a woman, an Atlanta Medical Center spokeswoman said. Police said his SUV crossed the center line and slammed into an oncoming van, killing Monica Murphy, 43. Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen told an Atlanta TV station that Blaylock has "a history of seizures."

Kings coach: Former Golden State assistant Mike Malone will be introduced as the Kings new coach on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

Pacers 91, Heat 77

MIAMI (77): James 10-21 7-8 29, Haslem 0-2 0-0 0, Bosh 1-8 2-2 5, Chalmers 3-8 2-2 10, Wade 3-11 3-5 10, Cole 4-7 0-0 9, Anthony 1-5 0-0 2, Allen 2-8 1-2 6, Battier 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 2-2 0-0 6, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-72 15-19 77.

INDIANA (91): George 11-19 3-4 28, West 5-14 1-2 11, Hibbert 11-20 2-4 24, Hill 6-12 2-2 16, Stephenson 1-4 2-2 4, Augustin 1-1 0-0 2, T.Hansbrough 1-2 1-4 3, Young 1-2 0-0 3, Mahinmi 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 37-74 11-18 91.

Miami 23 17 15 22— 77

Indiana 21 18 29 23— 91

3-Point GoalsMiami 10-18 (Miller 2-2, Chalmers 2-3, James 2-4, Bosh 1-1, Wade 1-2, Cole 1-2, Allen 1-4), Indiana 6-11 (George 3-5, Hill 2-4, Young 1-1, Stephenson 0-1). Fouled OutHibbert. ReboundsMiami 36 (Anthony 8), Indiana 58 (West 14). AssistsMiami 10 (James 6), Indiana 19 (Hill 6). Total FoulsMiami 21, Indiana 19. TechnicalsJames, Miami Bench, Stephenson. A18,165.

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