END OF GAME: Miami wins 99-76, they advance to take on the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals. Game 1 Thursday night in Miami.
Indiana had a fantastic season, they are a young and growing team that will learn a lot from this. Paul George and Roy Hibbert had coming out parties on the national stage. Hopefully people will realize how good this team is now.
For Miami it is on to the next step and a different but equally big test to repeat as champs. Their aggressive style will get a real test from the veterans and great ball movement of the Spurs.
Fourth quarter, 2:17: Flo Rida’s manager also was ejected by the refs for talking. Seriously. He was courtside and got tossed for chirping at the refs. Classic
Fourth quarter, 2:17: Jeff Pendergraph and Norris Cole have both been ejected after a little altercation. Pendergraph set a moving screen, Cole ran into him but nothing out of the ordinary, but then Pendergraph just shoved Cole. Both were tossed but all Cole really did was make a stance like he wanted to fight but didn’t do anything. Maybe he said something.
Fourth quarter, 2:35: The question we are asking, “Can the Spurs really match the Pacers blueprint?” Which was a variation of the Bulls blueprint.
Fourth quarter, 5:01: Dwyane Wade comes out to a standing O also. 92-68 Heat.
Fourth quarter, 5:01: LeBron comes out to a standing ovation.
Fourth quarter, 5:30: LeBron has scored or assisted on 14 of the Heat’s last 19 points. He is not taking his foot off the gas.
Fourth quarter, 5:43: Norris Cole hits a three off a LeBron kickout. Miami 6-14 from deep. When LeBron gets help….
Fourth quarter, 7:43: Paul George fouled out. The guy had a monster season (won Most Improved Player) and then for five of the first six games this series he played Lebron James as well as can be expected. He gave them a chance. This guy is growing into an elite player before our eyes and it is fun to watch.
Fourth quarter, 10:52: Heat 79-61. At this point it’s just a march to the end. We can start talking about the amazing ugly hat Justin Bieber had on (1984 Nets looking thing that said Heat).
Fourth quarter, 10:52: Gerald Green is in the game for the Pacers. Not quite the white flag, but close to it.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: Free throws Heat 23-of-24, Pacers 11-of-17. That is not the refs, that is one team being more aggressive going to the rim. Aggressors get the calls in the NBA.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: LeBron drives with two seconds left, draws foul number five on Paul George and hits his free throws. Pacers end quarter 0-9 shooting. It’s 76-55 Miami at the break.
Third quarter, 1:48: I’d said on NBC Radio today I thought this could be a Heat blowout (but that if it was close the Pacers pull those out). They were at home, with the best player, and an ability to find another gear. The Pacers are a young, learning team that will come back better next year. 72-53 still.
Third quarter, 2:09: Offensive foul on Roy Hibbert, his fifth, and he sits. He essentially pinned Haslem down with his arm. Miami comes down and attacks the paint, Wade bucket makes it 72-53 Miami.
Third quarter, 3:10: Steve Kerr makes a good point — like you say about why playoff hockey is different than regular season, the Heat couldn’t play with this kind of energy for 82 games. But when they turn up the defensive intensity like this they are very hard to beat and they can do it for a game or three.
Third quarter, 4:09: Problem for Pacers is they are a grinding team, not a team built to run off a quick 12 points and jump back in a game like this. They need to start their run soon.
Third quarter, 4:47: Dwyane Wade has 5 offensive boards, the entire Pacers team 3. That’s not good for Indy.
Third quarter, 4:47: Another aggressive Miami backcourt trap forced George Hill to call a timeout. 66-49 Miami, they are just running away with it.
Third quarter, 5:34: Apparently David Beckham and Justin Bieber can afford courtside seats for this game.
Third quarter, 6:04: Miami defense still looks sharp and active. 61-49 Heat.
Third quarter, 7:50: Chris Bosh with 8 rebounds, Roy Hibbert 5. And Bosh just blocked a West shot.
Third quarter, 8:21: High screen and roll, both defenders go with roll man Udonis Haslem and leaves LeBron James open for three. Not a sound defensive strategy. 59-45 Miami.
Third quarter, 10:40: Pacers look more settled to start second half. Question is can they get enough stops — and stop turning the ball over — to get back in it… and as I type that they turn it over. 56-44 Miami.
HALFTIME: Scoring leaders at the half: Miami has LeBron James at 18, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen with 10 each; Indiana has more balance with David West at 10, Lance Stephenson at 8 and Roy Hibbert just 4. Pacers shooting 43.3 percent, Heat just 40 percent. Pacers with 15 turnovers, two offensive rebounds. Miami with 5 turnovers, 9 offensive boards.
HALFTIME: Coming into this series the question was “can the Pacers score enough on Miami to stay in games?” For five of the first six games, they blew that theory out of the water — offensive rebounds and free throws helped fuel a much better than expected offense. They got the ball inside and worked inside out. In Game 7 Miami got back to being aggressive, they doubled the post (Hibbert and West) and the Pacers offense has come apart.
HALFTIME: Miami wins the second quarter 33-16 and leads 52-37. Pacers shot 43.3 percent and had 15 turnovers. Bad, bad combination, but credit a very aggressive Heat defense for some of that.
Second quarter, 1:12: Hibbert picks up his third foul and goes to the bench. Miami much more aggressive going at him this game.
Second quarter, 1:27: Pacers with 2 offensive rebounds on 15 missed shots, 13.3 percent. When they have won this series they have been close to 40 percent and gotten a lot of easy putback dunks.
Second quarter, 2:56: Ray Allen hits another three, he starts 3-3 from beyond the arc. That’s huge for the Heat. He hits another and you can count on a shot of his mom in the crowd (they always do that, and she will have on some serious bling).
Second quarter, 3:31: David West with an And-1 bucket and when the Pacers starters get back on the court they play better — the starting five has been good, it’s the bench that hurts them. 44-34 Heat, with LeBron going to the line.
Second quarter, 4:11: Note to Paul George, you may want to stick with LeBron James when he cuts to the run. Just an idea. 41-32 Heat.
Second quarter, 5:15: Heat on 11-2 run with Hibbert and George on the bench. Coincidence? I think not.
Second quarter, 5:53: Chris Bosh three point shot makes it 39-29 Miami. Heat are doing it with aggressive defense and the Pacers look tight now.
Second quarter, 7:05: It’s now 13 turnovers for Pacers, for those of you scoring at home.
Second quarter, 8:22: Ray Allen 3, missed airball by Indy, then a LeBron alley-oop. Crowd into it now. 33-27 Heat. Hibbert and George on the bench for Indy.
Second quarter, 10:07: Now up to 11 Pacers turnovers. Problem is that has created cross-match problems that the Heat are able to exploit at the other end. Pacers are shooting 50 percent… when they hold on to the ball.
Second quarter, 10:07: Ray Allen hits three, next trip down Mike Miller does. That is huge, when the Heat can space the floor they are impossible to defend. 28-25 Heat.
Second quarter, 12:00: Heat leading points in the paint 12-6. Pacers 3-6 from three to balance that out.
Second quarter, 12:00: Chris Andersen missed a tip in at the end of the first quarter. Birdman’s streak of made shots ends at 18. And there was much weeping.
END OF FIRST QUARTER: 21-19 Indiana. Miami is shooting just 28.6 percent but they have taken 13 more shots than the Pacers due to 9 Indy turnovers and some offensive rebounds.
First quarter, 0:24: Another turnover, 9 now. Heat are shooting terribly but in it thanks to turnovers.
First quarter, 1:00: Standing ovation for Chris Andersen from the crowd.
First quarter, 1:00: The Heat aggressive defense and the careless Pacers lead to turnovers and Heat buckets. Eight first quarter Indy turnovers, 20-19 Indy.
First quarter, 2:22: Chris Bosh started 1-6 shooting. Pacers up 19-15.
First quarter, 3:43: All season long the Heat overwhelmed teams with their athleticism on traps and cutting off passing and driving lanes. They struggled to do that to the Pacers all series, but doing it tonight. LeBron on Paul George.
First quarter, 4:16: LeBron James putback dunk puts Heat up 15-14. Miami being aggressive on the glass, which is key. Indy must win the game in the paint to win the game. Also, stop the turnovers.
First quarter, 5:21: 14-11 Indiana. Heat doubling the post hard and force a Hibbert turnover. That is 4 early turnovers for Pacers.
First quarter, 6:55: LeBron draws foul on Roy Hibbert when he attacks. Heat need more of that.
First quarter, 7:07: Heat open shooting 3-11, Pacers go on 7-0 run to take 12-6 lead. Usually at the start of games sevens guys are tight, Miami is for sure. Pacers get their buckets closer to the basket, impacts them less.
First quarter, 8:00: Wade and Bosh miss their first two but each hit their second shot. Hill three a good sign for Pacers. Heat had pulled back on pick and roll coverage last two games, being aggressive tonight.
First quarter, 8:30 left: Sorry folks, after some technical issues we are going to the live blog format. Join in the comments. We are live from Casa de Kurt tonight in the LBC (watching on TV like you).