Heat re­turn to NBA Fi­nals, top Pac­ers 117-92

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

MI­AMI (AP) — For the en­tirety of the reg­u­lar sea­son, the supremacy of the Mi­ami Heat in the East­ern Con­fer­ence was brought into se­ri­ous ques­tion by the In­di­ana Pac­ers. Then came the play­offs. And the ques­tion was an­swered — em­phat­i­cally. The Heat be­came the third fran­chise in NBA his­tory to reach the ti­tle se­ries in four con­sec­u­tive sea­sons, a laugher of a con­fer­ence-ti­tle fi­nale get­ting them there again Fri­day night. LeBron James and Chris Bosh each scored 25 points, and Mi­ami elim­i­nated the Pac­ers for the third straight year with a 117-92 romp in Game 6 of the East cham­pi­onship se­ries.

“I’m blessed. Very blessed. Very hum­bled,” James said. “And we won’t take this op­por­tu­nity for granted. It’s an un­be­liev­able fran­chise, it’s an un­be­liev­able group. And we know we still have work to do, but we won’t take this for granted. We’re go­ing to four straight Fi­nals and we will never take this for granted.”

Dwyane Wade and Rashard Lewis each scored 13 points for Mi­ami, which trailed 9-2 be­fore rip­ping off 54 of the next 75 points to erase any doubt by half­time. The Heat set a fran­chise record with their 11th straight home post­sea­son win, go­ing back to the fi­nal two games of last sea­son’s NBA Fi­nals, leading by 37 at one point.

“The group loves to com­pete and loves to com­pete at the high­est level, and be pushed to new lev­els,” Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra said.

In­di­ana led the East for much of the reg­u­lar sea­son, one where the Pac­ers were fu­eled by the mem­ory of los­ing Game 7 of the East fi­nals in Mi­ami a year ago. So they spent this sea­son with a clear goal: Top­pling Mi­ami as kings of the East.

The Pac­ers were two games bet­ter in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

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