Heat Pummel Pacers, Advance To 3rd Straight NBA Finals
Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals was packed with plenty of drama before tip-off. Then tip-off took place, and the Miami Heat sucked all the drama out of the matchup, pummeling the Indiana Pacers by the score of 99-76.
League MVP LeBron James has been stellar for Miami the entire series, and Monday night was no different. James' stat line of 32 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block was typical. It was Miami's supporting cast that came to play in Game 7, unlike the previous 6 games in the series.
Dwyane Wade scored 21 (tying his postseason high), while Ray Allen chipped in 10 points in the first half. Collectively, Miami's defense gave the Pacers fits from buzzer to buzzer. Indiana finished with more turnovers than field goals in the first half.
"Being here three straight years in a row, going back to the finals, is an amazing feat. I'm just glad we were able to do it," explained Wade. "Everything that happened in the first six games didn't mean anything to us. It was about tonight. It was about Game 7. It was about finding a way to win here at home."
Indiana All-Star Paul George was masterful in the first six games of the ECF, averaging near 22 points a game. However, George couldn't handle the Heat's pressure defense in Game 7, scoring only 7 points on 2-for-9 shooting before fouling out early in the fourth quarter.
Miami now gears up to face the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio swept in the Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals eight days ago. Game 1 of the NBA finals begins Thursday night.