NBA: Heat roll over Pacers to lead series
MIAMI – Miami got their swagger back as they scored the opening three points and never trailed in easily beating Indiana 115-83 in game five Tuesday to take a 3-2 lead in their Eastern Conference series.
Dwyane Wade had 28 points and LeBron James scored 30 points for the Heat who can wrap up their best-of-seven series with a win in game six Thursday in Indianapolis.
“I felt good today,” Wade said. “I was in groove and I just let the game come to me. It is good for me to get two good games in a row.”
League MVP James also had 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Heat as he and Wade combined for 27 points to put the Heat up 49-40 going into the second half.
“We wanted to come in with much better energy and focus,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Tuesday’s game got physical with each team receiving a flagrant foul in the second quarter. In the last minute of the game Indiana’s Lance Stephenson took another hard elbow to the face but was able to finish it out.
Second-seeded Miami have now won two straight in the series and they did it without all-star big man Chris Bosh who suffered a strained abdominal muscle in game one.
Paul George had a team-high 11 points and Roy Hibbert finished with eight points and 12 rebounds for the third-seeded Pacers who got a scare when Danny Granger went down with an ankle injury. It was the worst loss in playoff franchise history for the Pacers.
Miami is now clear favourites to come out of the East with the Chicago Bulls already eliminated.
Miami won three of the four from Indiana in the regular season. The only other postseason meeting between the Pacers and Heat was eight years ago in the East semi-finals with Indiana winning in six.