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Pacers 93, Heat 90

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INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George wasn’t ready to go down quietly.

With his team facing elimination in the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night, George scored 31 of his game-high 37 points in the second half, leading the Indiana Pacers to a 93-90 win over the Miami Heat at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Heat still lead the best-of-seven series three games to two. Game 6 will be played Friday in Miami.

George was simply dominant late in the game, especially in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, when he scored nine points, not missing a shot. The 6-foot-9 forward added an exclamation point when he stole an attempted pass by Heat forward LeBron James and cruised in alone for a slam-dunk.

A 3-pointer by George with less than two minutes left gave the Pacers an 88-84 lead, and another 3-pointer with 46.7 seconds left put Indiana on top, 91-87.

Miami center Chris Bosh missed a 3-pointer with two seconds left.

Forward David West added 19 points for Indiana, and guard Lance Stephenson had 12. Center Roy Hibbert contributed 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Bosh led the Heat with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Forward Rashard Lewis and guard Dwyane Wade each scored 18.

James, who battled foul trouble most of the game, missed seven of his first eight shots and finished with seven points. It was the first time he scored fewer than 22 in the Heat’s 14 playoff games this year.

After trailing 42-33 at halftime, the Pacers used a 16-2 run in the third quarter to take command while James was on the bench with four fouls.

The Pacers grabbed an eight-point lead in the opening quarter as James quickly fell into foul trouble and hit just one basket in the first half. James picked up his third foul with 6:03 left in the second quarter and his fourth in the first minute of the third quarter.

Still, Indiana’s lead didn’t last long.

An outside jump shot by Wade, which beat the buzzer to finish off the first quarter, began a 17-2 Miami run. When the run began, the Heat trailed the Pacers by eight. When it finished on a basket by guard Ray Allen, Miami held a seven-point advantage.

Adding to the Pacers’ misery was a basket taken away from guard George Hill during a timeout. Hill thought he ended the Miami run at 15-2 by hitting a shot as the shot-clock buzzer sounded. However, the officials reviewed the play during a timeout, and they determined the shot was late.

For nearly nine minutes of the second quarter, only reserve forward Luis Scola had scored for Indiana. He hit three of five shots, outscoring the rest of the Pacers combined over the entire quarter. Outside of Scola, the Pacers missed eight of 10 shots.

Scola finished the game with six points.

NOTES: Indiana G Lance Stephenson said criticizing Miami F LeBron James publicly for “trash talk” before Game 4 was a mistake. Pacers coach Frank Vogel would admit only that the two talked about it. … Miami F Chris Andersen missed his second consecutive game because of a bruised thigh. He scored 14 points, his 2014 postseason high, in the Heat’s Game 2 victory at Indiana. … Miami G Ray Allen, battling a bruised hip he sustained Game 4, did not participate in Wednesday morning’s shootaround, but he entered the game in the first quarter when F LeBron James was called for his second foul less than nine minutes in. … Indiana C Roy Hibbert was held scoreless in four of 18 postseason games. He totaled seven rebounds in Games 3 and 4 combined after grabbing 22 rebounds in Games 1 and 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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