Pacers Cool Down Heat, 102-89
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana did it again Friday night.
And this time, the Pacers beat Miami at its own game.
David West scored 30 points, Paul George added 17 and Indiana became the second team to beat the defending champs twice this season with a 102-89 victory.
The Pacers (28-19) have won 13 in a row at home and two straight since ending a three-game losing streak earlier this week. They’ve also won three straight regular-season games over theHeat and have not lost to Miami since the Heat swept the final three games of the Eastern Conference semifinal series last spring.
For Miami (29-14), it was a frustrating night. While players and coaches promised to play a more physical game than the first one, the 87-77 loss on Jan. 8 also at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, it didn’t make much difference.
The Heat still got outrebounded, and allowed the Pacers to shoot a season-high 55.7 percent from the field. During one stretch, West made 11 straight baskets.
How frustrating was it? Three different Miami players and coach Erik Spoelstra drew technical fouls.
And after Miami put up a season-low 77 points in the first trip to Indiana, this time it nearly allowed Indiana to finish with its highest points total in a non-overtime game all season. The season high was 105 against Houston two weeks earlier.
It was that kind of night in Indy. Lance Stephenson had 15 points and George Hill 12 before leaving briefly late in the game with a left shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, the only other Miami players to reach double figures were Chris Bosh with 13 and Shane Battier with 11.
Indiana took control of the game with a 13-0 run that turned a 23-20 deficit into a 33-23 lead early in the second quarter. Miami never led again.
The Pacers, meanwhile, methodically extended the margin. They closed the first half on an 8-4 mini-run to make it 53-45, then opened the second half by scoring the first six points to take a 59-45 lead.
They weren’t even close to being finished. When Miami got within 64-54 on two free throws by Mario Chalmers with 7:13 to go in the third quarter, Indiana answered with a 12-3 run that made ended with two free throws from West. That made it 76-57 with 3:16 left in the quarter.
Miami only got as close as 12 the rest of the way.
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