Thursday, December 14, 2017
Sports

Miami Heat one win away from NBA Finals

MIAMI — LeBron James had 32 points and 10 rebounds, Chris Bosh added 25 points and the Heat moved one win away from a return trip to the NBA Finals with a 102-90 win over the Pacers on Monday night.

Dwyane Wade scored 15 for the Heat, which has won three of the first four games in the Eastern Conference finals. Miami can win the East for a fourth straight season with a win at Indiana on Wednesday night.

Miami led wire-to-wire, opening up as much as a 23-point lead in the final quarter.

Paul George scored 23 and David West added 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Pacers, who got 15 from George Hill. But Lance Stephenson was held to nine and Roy Hibbert was scoreless in 22 minutes for Indiana.

The Pacers won two elimination games in the first round against Atlanta, and need to win three more if their yearlong plan of topping Miami as kings of the East is going to become reality.

The odds are obviously stacked against them. When holding a 3-1 lead, Miami is 8-0 in Game 5s over the past four post-seasons.

"You can never get too high, you can never get too low in the postseason," James said. "You've got to stay even-keeled. You got to try to get better every single day, every single game improve.

"When you do that and you go out and play the type of game that you're capable of playing, you can be satisfied with the results and that's what we've built over the years."

Miami outscored Indiana 31-20 in the third quarter and increased the lead to 23 in the fourth quarter before the Pacers went on a 15-3 run.

Stephenson scored with 1:31 left to make it 99-90, but James snuffed out any comeback hopes. His three-point play nine seconds later pushed the lead back to 12, and the Heat was moments away from a 3-1 lead. It was the 74th playoff game where James had at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, passing Michael Jordan for the most in league history.

Heat 102, Pacers 90

INDIANA (90): George 8-16 4-7 23, West 9-18 2-2 20, Hibbert 0-4 0-0 0, G.Hill 5-10 1-2 15, Stephenson 3-7 3-5 9, Scola 6-8 0-0 12, Butler 1-3 0-0 3, Watson 1-2 0-0 3, Mahinmi 2-3 1-1 5, Copeland 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-71 11-17 90.

MIAMI (102): James 13-21 4-4 32, Lewis 0-5 0-0 0, Bosh 7-12 8-10 25, Chalmers 2-2 0-0 4, Wade 4-12 7-7 15, Haslem 1-3 3-4 5, R.Allen 2-8 4-4 9, Cole 2-4 2-2 7, Battier 1-2 2-3 5. Totals 32-69 30-34 102.

Indiana 19 25 20 26— 90

Miami 27 22 31 22— 102

3-Point GoalsIndiana 9-21 (G.Hill 4-7, George 3-9, Butler 1-2, Watson 1-2, Scola 0-1), Miami 8-24 (Bosh 3-5, James 2-3, Battier 1-2, Cole 1-2, R.Allen 1-5, Wade 0-2, Lewis 0-5). ReboundsIndiana 44 (West 12), Miami 39 (James 10). AssistsIndiana 18 (West, G.Hill, Stephenson 4), Miami 16 (James 5). Total FoulsIndiana 27, Miami 17. TechnicalsHibbert, Indiana Coach Vogel. A19,874 (19,600).

Report: Shelly Sterling LEADING sale: Shelly Sterling has received inquiries from at least six serious bidders for the Clippers, espn.com reported. Sterling reached an agreement with her estranged husband, Donald Sterling, to negotiate a sale after he was banned for life and fined $2.5 million by commissioner Adam Silver on April 29.

Shelly Sterling met with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Sunday to discuss a possible sale. Ballmer was a part of the effort to bring a team back to Seattle last year. Former All-Star Grant Hill and other investors are also reportedly interested in the Clippers. The league issued a statement Friday stating it intends to proceed with a June 3 hearing that would terminate Donald Sterling's ownership.

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