Miami unable to repeat dominant win from Game 3 to take control of series.
The Indiana Pacers sealed a 99-92 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night, which leaves the series intriguingly tied at 2-2 ahead of Game 5 in Miami on Thursday.
Roy Hibbert scored 23 points while Lance Stephenson added 20, but it was the effort on the defensive end that enabled the Pacers to clinch a vital win.
As stated by Paul George in his post-game interview, Indiana were able to deal with LeBron James much better in the post to avoid handing him easy points as well as being able to deal with his team-mates shooting from the perimeter.
James missed the final stages of the game after fouling out, and despite scoring 24 points, the Pacers were able to outscore their rivals 13-3 in the final five minutes to pull away and secure the win.
Notably, Indiana have outscored Miami 90-72 inside the paint in their two wins, while Heat hold a 112-84 advantage in their victories. Winning that battle appears to be key, and the likes of Hibbert and David West returned to form at just the right time.
There was a sense of “do or die” surrounding this game for coach Frank Vogel, after suffering their first home defeat of the postseason it appeared that they may have lost both momentum and the series.
However, with their win on Tuesday night they remain in the hunt and will hope to continue their impressive performances at the AA Arena and return to Indianapolis on Saturday with the opportunity to put away the defending champions.
While the San Antonio Spurs await the winner in the NBA Finals, there is plenty more basketball left in this series before the Eastern Conference champions emerge.