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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — LeBron James grabbed a seat on Miami’s bench, lowered his head and stared down at the floor. Way down.
Roy Hibbert had 19 points and 18 rebounds, George Hill scored 20 and Danny Granger 17 as the Pacers, showing more balance, toughness and togetherness than favored Miami, throttled the malfunctioning Heat 94-75 on Thursday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Overlooked during the regular season and given little chance to upset the reigning East champions, the Pacers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Game 4 is Sunday at raucous Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
James scored 22 — 16 in the first half before wearing down — and Mario Chalmers added 25 for Miami. However, Dwyane Wade, banged up and possibly slowed by a more serious injury, scored only 5 on 2-of-13 shooting for the Heat, already missing forward Chris Bosh due to injury
because of a strained abdominal muscle. Bosh is not expected to return for this series.
“It’s obvious he wasn’t himself.” James said of Wade. “Does he want to play better? Of course. He’s one of the best players in the world.”