In a game that can only be defined as odd, the Indiana Pacers defeated the Heat 99-92 in Game 4, to square the Eastern Conference Finals at 2 games apiece.
LeBron James led the Heat with 24 points, but wasn’t his usual efficient self. Mario Chalmers added 20 points, and Dwyane Wade had 16 points. Wade and Chris Bosh combined to shoot 6-21, and failed to provide enough offensive down the stretch to seal the deal.
For the Pacers, Roy Hibbert scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Lance Stephenson surprised with 20 points, and George Hill contributed 19.
Indiana seemed in control through most of the game, until the Heat made a surge to get the score to 48-47 at halftime. The Heat came out of halftime and took a six point lead, pulling ahead 60-54 before the Pacers answered with a 7-0 run of their own to re-take the lead. The Pacers used a run at the end of the 3rd quarter to go ahead 77-70. The Heat came out attacking in the 4th, eventually tying the game at 83-83. The game began going back and forth, until a Roy Hibbert layup late in the shot clock gave the Pacers a 91-89 lead, that they never relinquished. James fouled out on a questionable offensive foul with the Pacers leading 96-92. Another questionable traveling call on Dwyane Wade nullified any chance of extending the game.
The Heat let this one slip away (or was it taken from them?) and they should be upset about it. The officiating will be a topic of discussion, and rightfully so. But to find the real culprit, the Heat have to look in the mirror. They seemed to gain control midway through the 4th quarter, before poor shot selection and horrendous rebounding did them in. The Heat have to be more efficient and aggressive on offense, in order to combat the lack of size that haunts them on the boards. Game 5 will take place Thursday night in Miami.