MIAMI, FL (Sporting Alert) — LeBron James was in a rampant mood on Monday night, but he got plenty of help from his teammates, as the Miami Heat blew away the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 to win the Eastern Conference with a 99-76 victory.
James and Heat, making their third consecutive finals, will now face the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA finals.
Game 1 of the finals is on Thursday.
The league’s MVP finished with 32 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field and eight rebounds on for the Heat, while Dwyane Wade, who had been quiet in this series, finished with 21 points and nine boards.
“Going back into the finals is an amazing feat,” Wade said during his interview at court side.
“Now we are going to take a little rest and be ready for what the great team (San Antonio) going to throw at us,” he added.
Led by as many as 15 points in the first half, Miami took the game to the Pacers after the interval and went on to extend that lead in the second.
The defending champions made the most of their opportunities to extend the lead to as many as 28 when Norris Cole hit an open three pointer with 6:01 left in the fourth quarter and then Wade knocked down two free throws.
Ray Allen added 10 points, but Chris Bosh, who forced his shots from the opening tipped, was very poor and finished with just nine points on 3-of-13. He a pulled down eight rebounds.
“Respect goes out to the Pacers,” said Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra.
“We had to play our best game of the series to get this one done.
“The Pacers had a very good year,” he added.
Roy Hibbert paced the Pacers with 18 points and eight rebounds, while David West added 14 points and six boards in the defeat.
George Hill had 13 points, but Paul George was held for just seven points and seven rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Miami’s Cole and Pacers’ Jeff Pendergraph were both ejected.