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Heat takes advantage

MIAMI — Miami took a big step forward. Indiana lost two forwards.

Suddenly, the road back to the Eastern Conference final no longer looks daunting for the Heat.

LeBron James scored 30, Dwyane Wade added 28, and the Heat moved a win away from the NBA's final four with a 115-83 victory over the hurting Pacers on Tuesday night.

The Heat leads the best-of-seven East semifinals 3-2, with Game 6 in Indiana on Thursday.

"This is our challenge right now, to leave it behind us," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "A lot of good things tonight, but we have to focus on the next one."

James added 10 rebounds and eight assists. Miami, which never trailed, held a 22-2 edge in fastbreak points and shot a franchise playoff-record 61 percent — best of any team in the playoffs this season.

Paul George scored 11 for Indiana, with starting forwards Danny Granger and David West adding 10 points apiece. Granger left with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter, and West left with what the Pacers called a left knee sprain at the end of that period. Granger is day-to-day.

It was an 11-point game when Granger departed, and the Heat outscored the Pacers by 21 the rest of the way.

"Game 6 is going to be physical," Wade said. "We've got to understand that this team has a lot of pride. Their crowd is going to be ready. They're going to come out with a lot of energy. We've got to withstand that first hit and still be standing. We're ready for it."

Warriors plan move to San Francisco

Sitting on the shore and staring at one of the world's most majestic metropolitan views, Joe Lacob leaned over to hear fellow Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber whisper in his ear.

"Man," Guber said, "we've got to do this."

And with that, the vision started to come into focus.

The Warriors, NBA commissioner David Stern and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee officially announced the Bay Area's only NBA team will try to move back to scenic San Francisco. The earliest the team could leave Oakland would be 2017.

The estimated $500 million, privately funded arena will be built on the waterfront site near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Report: Knicks, Woodson deal nearly done: The Knicks and coach Mike Woodson are completing a multiyear deal that could be announced this week, the Associated Press reported. Woodson led the Knicks to an 18-6 record and a first-round playoff loss to Miami as interim coach after replacing Mike D'Antoni on March 14. The Knicks' victory in Game 4 of the series ended an NBA-record, 13-game postseason losing streak that dated to 2001.

Sloan interested in Bobcats job, report says: Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan will likely meet with Bobcats management about their job opening, the Charlotte Observer reported. Sloan, who turned 70 in March, has been out of coaching the past 1½ seasons after a 22-plus season tenure with the Jazz. He indicated he'd be interested in the opening in Orlando.

Heat 115, Pacers 83

INDIANA (83): Granger 3-6 1-2 10, West 5-13 0-0 10, Hibbert 3-10 1-2 8, Hill 3-9 0-0 6, George 3-9 4-5 11, Barbosa 3-10 0-0 6, Collison 2-6 4-4 8, Amundson 3-6 0-2 6, Hansbrough 2-6 4-4 8, D.Jones 1-8 2-2 5, Stephenson 0-4 1-2 1, Pendergraph 1-1 0-0 2, Price 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 30-89 17-23 83.

MIAMI (115): Battier 4-7 1-2 13, James 12-19 4-4 30, Turiaf 1-1 0-0 2, Chalmers 3-6 2-2 8, Wade 10-17 7-13 28, Anthony 3-4 1-2 7, Miller 0-1 0-0 0, Cole 1-4 4-4 6, J.Jones 2-3 0-0 6, Haslem 5-6 0-0 10, Howard 1-1 1-2 3, Harris 1-1 0-0 2, Pittman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 43-70 20-29 115.

Indiana 20 20 17 26— 83

Miami 26 23 27 39— 115

3-Point GoalsIndiana 6-21 (Granger 3-4, Hibbert 1-1, D.Jones 1-4, George 1-4, Barbosa 0-3, Hill 0-5), Miami 9-16 (Battier 4-5, J.Jones 2-3, James 2-4, Wade 1-2, Chalmers 0-1, Miller 0-1). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsIndiana 46 (Hibbert 12), Miami 55 (Chalmers 11). AssistsIndiana 15 (George 3), Miami 20 (James 8). Total FoulsIndiana 21, Miami 20. Flagrant Fouls—Hansbrough, Haslem, Pittman. A20,097 (19,600).

East semifinals

Heat 3, pacers 2

Game 1: Heat 95, Pacers 86

Game 2: Pacers 78, Heat 75

Game 3: Pacers 94, Heat 75

Game 4: Heat 101, Pacers 93

Tuesday: Heat 115, Pacers 83

Thursday: at Indiana, 8, ESPN

Saturday: at Miami, TBD, TBD *

Celtics 3, 76ers 2

Game 1: Celtics 92, 76ers 91

Game 2: 76ers 82, Celtics 81

Game 3: Celtics 107, 76ers 91

Game 4: 76ers 92, Celtics 83

Game 5: Celtics 101, 76ers 85

Tonight: at Philadelphia, 8, ESPN

Saturday: at Boston, TBD, TBD *

West semifinals

Spurs 4, Clippers 0

Game 1: Spurs 108, Clippers 92

Game 2: Spurs 105, Clippers 88

Game 3: Spurs 96, Clippers 86

Game 4: Spurs 102, Clippers 99

Thunder 4, Lakers 1

Game 1: Thunder 119, Lakers 90

Game 2: Thunder 77, Lakers 75

Game 3: Lakers 99, Thunder 96

Game 4: Thunder 103, Lakers 100

Game 5: Thunder 106, Lakers 90

* If necessary

Lakers have ample time to regroup

LOS ANGELES — Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol spent the final minutes of the Lakers' final game arguing in Oklahoma City, disagreeing on the best way to run a pick-and-roll play.

It might have been the tandem's last few minutes together with a franchise that has little patience when even great players stop bringing home rings.

The Lakers were eliminated in the second round for the second straight year Monday night with a five-game loss to the Thunder. Although the Lakers had a solid season despite getting no real training camp to make the enormous switch from coaches Phil Jackson to Mike Brown, they weren't as good as the NBA's best.

That likely means changes for a franchise and a fan base that considers seasons ending before June to be abject failures.

"I'm really not used to it, so it's pretty odd for me," Bryant said of another early-by-Lakers-standards exit. "I'm not the most patient of people, and the organization is not extremely patient either. We want to win and win now, so I'm sure we'll figure it out. We always have. I'm sure we will again."

While general manager Mitch Kupchak contemplates his moves, most of the armchair GMs already agreed on Job No. 1: From the hours after the Lakers' final loss well into Tuesday morning, the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter in Los Angeles was "#IdTradeGasolFor."

Gasol endured his toughest season since arriving in Los Angeles in early 2008. The genial Spanish 7-footer averaged a career-low 17.4 points while failing to find a consistent role in Brown's offense before struggling mightily in the playoffs.

"This team always has a huge desire and goal to win the championship, and when you fall short, it's frustrating," Gasol said. "It has been a crazy year and a lot to deal with. … Unfortunately, we had tough losses and things didn't really go our way for the most part. You just have to regroup and digest this loss and this season, and learn from it and move on."

Heat takes advantage 05/22/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 12:30am]
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