The Miami Heat came out firing on all cylinders in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals, defeating the Indiana Pacers 102-90.
Chris Bosh was the first Heat player to put the pressure on Indiana, nailing a quick jumper followed by back-to-back threes, scoring the first eight points of the game and giving Miami the early lead.
The Pacers countered with Paul George scoring on a driving layup, mixed with David West feathering in jumpers and pounding the paint. But LeBron and Bosh were out for blood, scoring a combined 18 points in the first quarter.
The opening quarter ended with an ill-advised shooting foul on Luis Scola on a three-point attempt by Shane Battier. Battier sunk all three free throws, pushing the Miami Heat lead to seven (27-19) to close out the first.
The Indiana Pacers got a boost from their bench early in the second quarter. C.J. Watson and Rasual Butler both connected on three-pointers, while Luis Scola went to work inside scoring a quick four points to get Indiana within striking distance.
Bosh stayed hot in the second, scoring on three straight Miami possessions. Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen got in on the action draining back-to-back jump shots, inflating the Heat’s lead to 40-29.
Paul George and David West did their best to ignite a Pacers run, scoring 11 points in the final 5:25, capped off by a George Hill three-pointer to end the first half with Miami up 49-44.
The third quarter opened with LeBron James sinking a three-pointer. On the next Pacers possession, Roy Hibbert missed a layup resulting in a Mario Chalmers drive to the basket for two points. James quickly followed that up with a dunk to further cushion the Heat’s lead to 56-44.
George Hill was the lone bright spot for the Pacers in the quarter, scoring nine points, but the Miami Heat never took their feet off the gas. The third quarter ended on a David West layup, with Miami in control 80-64.
With the lead well in hand, Dwyane Wade opened the fourth with an easy floater, while Ray Allen and Norris Cole rained daggers from deep exacerbating the Heat lead to 89-68.
Wade seemed to play the closer role in Game 4, pacing the Heat on offense and upping the defensive pressure at key moments of the game.
Lance Stephenson did attempt to conjure one final run for the Pacers, but it was already out of reach. The Miami Heat decimated the Indiana Pacers in Game 4, 102-90.
But it didn’t even feel that close.
The series now moves to Indiana on Wednesday, where the Pacers must stave off elimination in Game 5 to maintain their championship aspirations.
Game 4 MVP: LeBron James 32 Pts, 10 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl
Stat of the night: Roy Hibbert 22 Mins, 0 Pts, 5 Reb, 4 personal fouls.
LeBron James: “We try to get better every single day, every single game. When you do that and go out and play the type of game that you are capable of playing, you can be satisfied with the results. And that’s what we’ve built over the years.”
Frank Vogel: “We got outplayed by the Heat, I wasn’t disappointed in our fight. I was disappointed in the result.”
Lance Stephenson: “I was trying to get into his head,” [referring to James] “I guess he stepped up and got the win. I can take the heat.”