The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

June 4, 2013

Heat off to Finals, beat Pacers 99-76 in Game 7

(Continued)

His first shot on Monday was a 3-pointer that connected, giving the Heat a 26-23 lead.

The Heat never trailed again.

"We just focused on every possession, trying to get stops, play Miami Heat defense, create havoc," James said. "I thought we did that tonight."

By halftime, it was 52-37, with James scoring 18 points, Bosh and Wade combining for 17 and Allen adding 10 more. And what had to be most troubling to the Pacers at halftime was their 15 turnovers, a number Vogel said earlier Monday would spell trouble if his team committed that many in the entire game.

And in the third, the run the Pacers so desperately needed never arrived.

Indiana was still within 13 with 3:37 left in the period when Hibbert picked up his fourth foul. Ordinarily, that would mean someone goes to the bench, though Game 7 on the road for a trip to the finals hardly could be classified as an ordinary occasion.

So Vogel — who was second-guessed for not having Hibbert on the floor for the final moments in overtime of Game 1, when James got to the rim easily for a game-winning layup — left his center out there with four fouls.

Barely a minute later, it backfired. Hibbert picked up his fifth late in the third, and George got to five fouls by getting whistled twice in the final 46.1 seconds of the quarter.

By then, the outcome was obvious.

It was Miami's night.

"We'll enjoy this," Spoelstra said, "for a short period of time."

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