The Indiana Pacers outplayed the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter for a runaway 91-77 win to tie their NBA Eastern Conference championship series at 3 games all, and force a winner-take-all Game 7 on Monday night.
The Pacers limited the Heat to their lowest output in the season as LeBron James never found his rhythm and failed to get scoring support from Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
James had 29 points, but Wade could only contribute 10 and Bosh, 5.
In contrast, Pacer star forward Paul George scored 28 and was backed up by Roy Hibbert’s 24, George Hill’s 16 and David West’s 11.
Indiana also outrebounded Miami 53 to 33, underscoring its vaunted edge in height.
George ignited a third-quarter surge that put the Pacers ahead by as much as 17 points. Mike Miller came off the bench to fire two straight three-pointers at the start of the fourth quarter, but the Heat failed to sustain their charge.
Miami will have home court advantage for the final game, but Coach Erik Spoelstra will have to rekindle the spark in his team if the Heat is to defend its crown.
Indiana will have to ride on the wave of Saturday night’s win if it expects to forge a championship playoff with the Western Conference titlist San Antonio.