The Indiana Pacers came through when it mattered, closing out strong against the Miami Heat to beat them by a point. The Pacers started strong, but struggled closing out the second and third quarters to fall behind by five heading into the final period. Indiana used an 8-0 run late in the quarter as David West hit a three pointer to give the Pacers an 84-80 lead. Chris Bosh hit a three to trim it to one and George Hill missed the two ensuing free throws. Bosh missed the game winning attempt as the Pacers hold on.
Paul George led the Pacers with 23, playing strong and active in the face of LeBron James, who had a game high 38. Roy Hibbert helped the Pacers early, scoring 13 of his 21 points in the first quarter. He took an elbow to the jaw against James, but would return despite appearing woozy. Lance Stephenson played well early and lifted Indiana in the fourth quarter with 15 before he was ejected. Evan Turner stepped in and scored four points. David West had 13, his three pointer helping to seal Indiana's win.
The win clinches the Central Division for the second straight year and gives them a three game cushion over the Heat for the top seed in the East.