The Miami Heat are one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals for a 4th straight year.
LeBron James scored a game high 32 points, Chris Bosh added 25, and the Miami Heat took a 3-1 series lead over the Indiana Pacers with a wire-to-wire 102-90 win in game 4.
The Heat will look to close out the series on Wednesday night in Indianapolis.
It was no Chris Anderson, no problem for the Heat. Anderson missed the game with a left thigh bruise, but Chris Bosh stepped up with his best game of the playoffs. His 25 points were the most he’s scored this post-season, and 2 points shy of his combined point total from games 1-3.
Bosh was especially hot in the first half. He scored 10 points in the first 7 minutes of the game. That alone was more than he scored in any game this series. Bosh had 17 points on 7/11 shooting entering half-time.
For the Pacers, Roy Hibbert came up small when his team needed him most. Hibbert was held scoreless for the 4th time this post-season. He shot 0/4 from the field and had just 5 rebounds.
Following Indiana’s game 3 loss, Lance Stephenson claimed that LeBron James’s trash talk was a “sign of weakness”. Well, Stephenson backed up his talk with a 9-point performance in this one. He did not score until the 4:33 mark of the 3rd quarter and did not convert a field goal until there was 5:31 left in the game.
Paul George came to play for the Pacers scoring a team high 23 points, David West had 20, and George Hill contributed 15. Luis Scola added 12 points off the bench.
Aside from the horrific play of Roy Hibbert, the story of the game was free-throw shooting. Miami shot 30/34 (88.2%) from the line, while the Pacers shot just 11/17 (64.7%).
The Heat, led by Chris Bosh, established the tempo from the start. Miami led by 8 after one, and led by as many as 11 in the first half. A 5-0 run to end the half got the Pacers back in it. Indiana trailed 49-44 at the half. That was as close as they would get.
Miami opened the 2nd half on a 7-0 run of their own, 5 of which came from LeBron, and the Heat outscored Indiana by 11 in the 3rd. Miami’s lead swelled to 23 points mid-way through the 4th. Lance Stephenson then came to life, but by then, it was too late.
When the Heat have a 3-1 series lead entering game 5 in the Big Three era, Miami is 8-0 in such games. That’s certainly a tall task for a Pacers team that’s cohesiveness has all but deteriorated.