NBA: Miami Heat rout Indiana Pacers, return to NBA Finals

11:25 p.m. EDT May 30, 2014   MIAMI — The Miami Heat embarrassed the Indiana Pacers.  But worse, the Pacers embarrassed themselves.

The Pacers came back to Miami for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals and were outplayed and overmatched in a contest that was decided before the first half ended.

The Heat hammered the Pacers 117-92 and advanced to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive time, becoming just the third franchise in NBA history to do that and the first team to accomplish that feat since the 1984-87 Boston Celtics, teams for which Pacers president of basketball operations Larry Bird played.

The Heat will play the winner of the Oklahoma City Thunder-San Antonio Spurs series, starting with Game 1 Thursday in the home of the Western Conference champion. Miami is also trying to win its third consecutive championship.

Miami improved to 10-0 in closeout games at home since LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami.

Pacers All-Star Paul George said earlier Friday that Indiana couldn't "have a game where we're down 15 at any point. … We can't put ourselves in a hole in this arena."

The Pacers barely made it out of the first quarter without that happening. Indiana took a 9-2 lead and then disintegrated. Miami went on a 26-4 run and led 28-13 with 11:10 left in the second quarter.

It got worse from there. The Heat led 60-34 at halftime and 86-49 with 3:39 left in the third quarter. It was a stretch of basketball that generated sympathy for Pacers coach Frank Vogel and his team.

Lance Stephenson takes out his aggression on Norris Cole's face

Indiana Pacers guard/professional antagonist Lance Stephenson maybe might have been going for the ball on this swipe to Miami Heat guard Norris Cole’s face during the Eastern Conference finals’ sixth game.

Maybe. Probably not, but hey, ESPN’s Mike Breen thought it might not have been intentional.

The referees disagreed and turned a personal foul into a Flagrant 1, which means he gets ejected if he picks up a second one. And, yeah:



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