In Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals bigger was better.
The Indiana Pacers used size and interior strength to outmaneuver the Miami Heat for a 99 92 victory. The win evens up this series at two games apiece and means the San Antonio Spurs will wait even more time to find out their opponent in the NBA Finals.
The Pacers outrebounded Miami 49 30 and poured in 50 points in the paint to just 32 for the Heat. Both Roy Hibbert and David West posted double doubles and all five starters scored in double digits.
Hibbert was the biggest going for 23 points and 12 rebounds six on the offensive end. He was simply dominant in controlling the paint holding Chris Bosh to 1 of 6 shooting and three boards. No matter who played the frontcourt for the Heat Hibbert came out on top.
West went for 14 points and 12 rebounds coming up with some big runs to freeze the Heat charge.
Lance Stephenson put in 20 points on 9 of 15 shooting going toe to toe with Dwyane Wade numerous times. George Hill was all over the floor winning 50 50 balls. He finished with 19 points and six assists grabbing a clutch loose ball late in the game to preserve a possession.
LeBron James put in 24 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter. Mario Chalmers chipped in 20 points going 8 of 8 from the line.
The move that has haunted Indiana throughout this series came back to bite them again at the end of the first half. James blew by the perimeter defense with Hibbert sitting on the bench. His 11 points brought the Heat to within one at intermission 48 47.
LeBron finishes half with no Hibbert inside by getting to rim. Miami will feel good about trailing by just one 48 47.Ethan J. Skolnick ( EthanJSkolnick) May 29 2013
Chalmers was having his way with the Pacers' backcourt throughout the game. He netted six points early in the third quarter pushing the Heat ahead 60 54 with 7 35 to go.
Have to admire Mario. mchalmers15 aggressive attacking Pacers defense all night. 16 pts his highest scoring gm in 2013 NBA playoffs.Eric Reid ( EReidMiamiHeat) May 29 2013
A 10 0 run going the other way gave the lead right back to Indiana. West scored seven points getting to the line twice during the streak. A pair of freebies with 4 28 remaining put the Pacers up 64 60.
See how West doesn't even bother telling Battier not to push him like that after the whistle. He knows Shane knows. Don't gotta even say it.Jared Wade ( 8pts9secs) May 29 2013
The end of the third quarter featured a pair of ridiculous plays. First James raced back and underneath easily blocking a George Hill layup.
Then at the buzzer Hill caught Wade out of position and hit Stephenson who launched a prayer from the corner while falling into the courtside seats. His three fell through the net giving the Pacers a 77 70 lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
With Bosh on the bench nursing an ankle injury the Pacers continued to go to work in the paint. Ian Mahinmi scored on a put back and Hibbert tossed in a nice little hook to put Indiana ahead 81 72 at the nine minute mark.
A questionable shot clock violation once again changed the game's momentum this time in the favor of the Heat. Despite a Pacer shot attempt hitting the rim late in the possession the clock was not reset and the referees ruled it Miami's ball. This set off an 11 2 run by the Heat who deadlocked the game at 83 with 6 15 left with James connecting on a three to tie it.
That layup waved off would have given the Pacers an 11 point lead. Instead Miami runs off a 11 2 run to tie the game at 83 w/ 6mins left.Scott Agness ( ScottAgness) May 29 2013
Having himself another great game Stephenson helped the Pacers withstand a ridiculous Ray Allen trey. His jumper with 3 28 left knotted the game at 89. Allen finished 4 of 13 on the night with 11 points.
Lance Stephenson basketball player drops his 17th and 18th points of the night on an iso pull up against the clock. TwentyWatchJared Wade ( 8pts9secs) May 29 2013
The paint train kept chugging right along for Indiana. Thanks to some timely offensive rebounding the Pacers got three shots out of one possession which ended with a Hibbert basket and a foul. Hibbert's three point play put Indiana up 94 89 with 90 seconds to go.
That's all Chris Bosh. Caught snoozing.Tom Haberstroh ( tomhaberstroh) May 29 2013
James drilled an enormous three to cut the deficit to just two but after another Stephenson bucket LeBron fouled out knocking down Stephenson while setting a shaky screen to free up Wade. The league's MVP was done for the night Udonis Haslem replaced him with just 56 seconds remaining.
Wow. LeBron James fouls out with 56 seconds left. pic.twitter.com/Cftt1RCNyiBleacher Report ( BleacherReport) May 29 2013
Things continued to go off track for Miami Wade was whistled for a traveling violation with under 30 seconds left and Indiana up 96 92.
LeBron James has fouled out for just the 2nd time in his postseason career. He also fouled out last year vs Celtics.ESPN Stats Info ( ESPNStatsInfo) May 29 2013
Paul George who had a surprisingly quiet game given his series so far sank a pair of free throws to ice things over for Indiana. The Pacers have earned a trip back to Miami Thursday night and the right to play a best of three series for a trip to the Finals.