NBA

Miami defeat Pacers in Eastern Conference showdown

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James was at it again scoring 30 points (©GettyImages)
James was at it again scoring 30 points (©GettyImages).

The Eastern Conference had a treat last night in the showdown between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat, but it was Heat who came away with the victory winning the match 98-86 at the American Airlines Arena.

In the first quarter, the Pacers came out strong and were determined to get in Miami's faces taking the first quarter by two points, with David West recording 10 points for the visitors.
LeBron James meanwhile put 14 points on the board after playing the whole quarter for Miami, hitting four out of his six field goal attempts.

The Heat fans wanted a response from the two-time champions, and they got one; Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem scored 11 points between them to win the quarter 22-17.

While Paul George played four minutes for the Pacers and recorded six points, keeping the Pacers' hopes alive.

It was tight going into half time as Heat had a three point lead, but this changed as soon as the third commenced.

James played another full quarter and showed his strength to score 13 points, while Toney Douglas contributed seven as Heat won the quarter 31-22.

But it wasn't only the scorers who were doing a good job for the home side. Chris Bosh pulled off a fantastic fingertip block in the third to prevent a two pointer for centre Roy Hibbert.

Going into the fourth the Pacers were only 14 points behind at 76-62, as James, Bosh and Mario Chalmers all hit double figures for Miami.

But the Pacers response wasn't enough, taking the quarter by two points in a 24-22 victory.

Forward David West scored eight points for the visitors, while for Erik Spoelstra's side Ray Allen played 11 minutes and scored ten points while number six, James, hit six more points for the team at the top of the Eastern Conference to win the game.

Miami sit top of the Eastern Conference after this win and have recorded two wins against the Pacers this season, but after the match James spoke to ESPN and quoted that this wasn't a important game.

"This is not the biggest game we've played in our four years together. It's always great to have competitive games like this in the regular season."

Before this encounter Miami Heat had lost two games on the bounce against the Brooklyn Nets and the Memphis Grizzlies; the fifth time that Spoelstra's men have lost two consecutive games this season.

Pacers meanwhile came into this encounter after a win against Milwaukee Bucks having lost twice previously against both the Toronto Raptors and the Atlanta Hawks.

As head coach Frank Vogel said after the game that they are slowly reaching their goals.

"We're still a good basketball team, but I think we're taking steps to get ready."

Last season Pacers finished third in the Eastern Conference before making it to the Conference finals, losing to Miami 4-3.

But considering they sit second, Vogel's men have two interesting encounters remaining against Oklahoma City Thunder and Orlando Pirates.

Miami meanwhile have three games left to play this season including games against the Atlanta Hawks and the Washington Wizards.

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Topics:
Eastern Conference
Indiana Pacers
NBA Finals
LeBron James
NBA
Miami Heat
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