Pacers Beat Heat to Force Eastern Conference Finals Game 7

The Miami Heat were three-point favorites heading into Saturday night’s pivotal Game 6 against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals. Once again, however, the Heat came up short, losing 91-77 in what could have been a clinching effort for them. Of course, much of the Pacers’ success can be attributed to center Roy Hibbert and power forward David West, who continue to dominate the Heat in the piant. Hibbert had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and made countless plays at the rim to alter the course of the Heat’s prolific offense.

“Myself and David (West), we throw ourselves in the fray, in the paint. We like to muck it up,” Hibbert said. “Paul and myself, we wanted to make sure we got this for him as well. We didn’t want this to be our last game.”

“Roy Hibbert is making extraordinary plays in the pocket, poise in the pocket we call it,” coach Frank Vogel said. “He’s getting paint catches and just having great poise, great reads. He’s not plowing over guys. He had a charge in Game 5, but has been under control.”

The Heat started the game 3-22 on non-three point shots, and their offense never really got going, particularly during a brutal stretch in the third quarter when the Pacers outscored them 14-2.

“Explain it? You seen it. It was total domination by the Pacers in the third,” LeBron James said. “They made a lot of shots, we didn’t get too many stops and we missed some very, very easy shots.”

The loss left the Heat scratching their heads and trying to figure out who, if anyone, was responsible for the meltdown.

“I mean, we can state the obvious, they’re both struggling,” James said of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. “When you’re struggling, the best thing to get is a layup or a dunk. [Wade] missed a couple of them. … Chris is struggling with his shot, and him hurting his ankle didn’t help.”

“If anything it’s on me,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I’ve got to find way to get those guys comfortable in areas where they can be aggressive. And that will be my focus the next 48 hours.”

No matter what, the Heat are going to have to play their very best on Monday night in Miami to come away with a win. The Pacers’ defense is too stout for them to take even a single possession off.

“We’ve come too far not to play,” West said. “I’m not feeling good now although this win helps. I’m sure I’ll be better tomorrow and I’ll be ready for Monday.”

Here were some of the gambling trends for both teams heading into Saturday night’s game, courtesy of OddsShark.com:

Miami Heat Trends:
When playing on Saturday are 6-4
Before playing Indiana are 8-2
After playing Indiana are 7-3
After a win are 7-3

Indiana Pacers Trends:
When playing on Saturday are 8-2
Before playing Miami are 6-4
After playing Miami are 5-5
After a loss are 7-3

A few Heat at Pacers trends to consider:
Miami is 23-2 SU in its last 25 games on the road
Miami is 19-3 SU in its last 22 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Miami’s last 7 games when playing Indiana
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Miami’s last 6 games
Indiana is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Indiana’s last 7 games when playing Miami
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Indiana’s last 6 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Indiana’s last 6 games when playing at home against Miami

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