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Hibbert helps Pacers pull even with Heat

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Roy Hibbert scored 23 points, including a huge three-point play with 1:30 remaining, and Lance Stephenson added 20 as Indiana outscored Miami 13-3 in the final five minutes to pull out a 99-92 victory in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Hibbert followed his own miss and drew LeBron James’ fifth foul to put Indiana up 94-89 and Stephenson answered James’ 3-pointer with a strong drive into traffic.

James fouled out on the next possession, the result of an illegal screen against Stephenson, leaving Miami without its closer. James scored 24 but did little damage in the post after being dominant there in Game 3.

Mario Chalmers scored 20 and Dwyane Wade 16 for the Heat. The series, tied 2-2, shifts to Miami for Game 5 Thursday.
QUOTABLE:

“We’re mentally tough. Not one guy in that locker room didn’t believe we were going to win this game tonight. … We know they’re the champs.

They’re one of the best teams in the NBA right now. We know we’re going to be fighting an uphill battle. We’re never going to give up. We’re relentless. All those guys in [the locker room], they believe we can win.”
— Roy Hibbert
THE STAT: Indiana outscored Miami 50-32 in the paint. In two victories, the Pacers hold a 90-72 edge. In Miami’s two wins, the Heat hold a 112-84 advantage.

TURNING POINT: After the Pacers controlled most of the first half, Miami threw two big punches, but neither knocked out the Pacers.

The Heat bridged intermission with a 24-10 run to take a 60-54 lead but David West provided the answer, scoring seven points in a 10-point counter that put Indiana right back in front.

The Pacers were up 81-72 when a Tyler Hansbrough putback was waved off because the shot-clock was not reset when Hibbert’s first attempt bounced off the rim and officials called the 24-second violation.

Indiana sagged and Miami pounced with a 17-5 run to take an 89-86 lead on Ray Allen’s 3-pointer with 5:14 remaining. But the Pacers again answered, scoring the next eight points, five on second-chance buckets by Hibbert, to regain control.
QUOTABLE II: “In the playoffs, on the road, you’re up by three, handful of minutes to go. Again, the way we are, we pride ourselves in closing out games. And we weren’t able to.”
— Miami coach Erik Spoelstra
HOT: Hibbert shot 10-for-16 and Stephenson 9-for-15. James made 4-for-7 from the 3-point line.

NOT: James was 4-for-11 inside the arc, Wade shot 5-for-15, Chalmers 6-for-14 and Allen 4-for-13 for Miami. Paul George missed all four of his 3-point attempts for the Pacers.

QUOTABLE III: “We’ve shown a great deal of resolve all year. This is the first time we’ve faced adversity this playoff season. Our guys rose to the challenge to start the game, and then when Miami came and took the lead, they rose to the challenge again.”
— Indiana coach Frank Vogel
NOTABLE: James scored just three points on 1-for-6 shooting on post-ups in Game 4 after scoring 14 on 5-for-9 shooting in Miami’s Game 3 victory. … James fouled out for the first time in any game this season and the second time in his postseason career. … Chris Bosh left midway through the third quarter with an apparent right ankle sprain but returned in the fourth quarter. … Indiana controlled the boards, 49-30. …

Miami shot 39 percent to Indiana’s 50 percent. … Hibbert and West (14 points, 12 rebounds) both had double-doubles for the Pacers. … Allen was Miami’s leading rebounder with seven. …

All five Indiana starters had at least five rebounds. James (six) was the only Miami starter with more than three. … James (3,603) needs four points to tie Wilt Chamberlain for 14th on the all-time postseason list. …

This was Miami’s first road loss in the postseason. … Indiana’s bench was outscored (19-11) for the 14th consecutive game. … The Pacers have never won a series when trailing 2-1 after three games.

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