The Miami Heat are one victory away from going to their fourth straight NBA Finals after a 102-90 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday.
Chris Bosh and LeBron James both came up big in the game with Bosh having 25 points and James contributing 32 points, 5 assists and 10 rebounds. Bosh started off the game tremendously and gave Miami a quick lead that held up all game long. James helped the lead grow with an even bigger third quarter of his own.
Chris Andersen was inactive for this game due to a thigh contusion and is listed as day-to-day. In his place, Miami had Rashard Lewis make the start. The decision for Andersen came close to game time and that will likely be the situation again for game five.
Bosh who had been struggling entering this game had eight points within the first two minutes of play. The star hit two three-pointers and a jump shot on his first three attempts. It took until the 8:49 mark for another Heat player to score when James made a layup.
The Pacers would take an early timeout with Miami up by eight. James and Bosh would continue to score the majority of the points in the quarter. The two players scored 16 of the first 18 Heat points.
Bosh has ten points in the first five minutes of play but sat down shortly after. James had a huge quarter with eight points, three assists and three rebounds. At the end of one quarter, the Heat had a 27-19 lead. This marked the first time that Miami has led after the first quarter in the series.
Lance Stephenson picked up his third personal foul early in the second quarter and was forced to sit with Indiana down seven. Bosh re-entered the game and quickly made three more baskets including his third trey of the game. Bosh had 17 points with over seven minutes remaining in the half.
After having no turnovers in the first quarter, Miami had two in this quarter. After the second, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra took a timeout with his team up by eight. At the next break in the action, the Heat had a seven-point lead with just under three minutes left in the half.
After a late Paul George three-pointer, the Heat led by five at the halftime buzzer. The Pacers went on a 5-0 run in the last 37 seconds of the half while Miami missed two three-point attempts in the same span. The latter came on a last second heave from Dwyane Wade.
The third quarter continued what began in the first half with James taking the game over. James hit a three only 40 seconds in and added a dunk less than a minute later. The Heat had a 12-point lead less than two minutes into the second half.
Miami would maintain its 12-point lead going into a timeout with 5:13 remaining in the third quarter. James At one point, the Heat would extend that to a 16-point lead before Indiana began to get stops and make baskets. With two minutes left in the half, Miami's lead was reduced to 12.
A James dunk with 1:15 left made it a 17-point game and gave him 14 points in the third quarter alone. At the end of three, the Heat led 80-64.
A Norris Cole three-pointer a little over two minutes into the fourth quarter gave Miami its biggest lead of the game for the time being at 20. That lead would balloon up to 23 all with James sitting on the bench.
A 6-0 run by the Pacers made it a 17-point game again with a little over six minutes left to play. At that point, the Heat took a timeout and brought James back into the game. The Pacers continued to trim the lead down to only 11 with a 13-1 run.
A James and-one basket with 1:22 left put the lead back at 12 after Indiana had reduced it to nine. The Pacers would be unable to put together another run after that point.
The Heat will try to end the series on Wednesday when game five tips off in Indiana at 8:30 pm.