Pacers upset Heat in Miami to level series
|Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (C) is blocked by Indiana Pacers' Ian Mahinmi (L) and Orlando Johnson as he goes up to shoot during Game 2 of their NBA Eastern Conference final basketball playoff in Miami, Florida May 24, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Skipper|
MIAMI - The Indiana Pacers threw open the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Friday, upsetting the Miami Heat with a 97-93 victory to level the series at 1-1.
LeBron James scored 36 points for Miami but gave up a crucial turnover down the stretch that cost the Heat while Roy Hibbert top scored for the Pacers with 29 points and Paul George added 22.
The Pacers took full advantage of a slow start from Miami, grabbing a 10-point lead midway through the first quarter and they were up 53-47 at halftime.
Miami fought back though and led 88-84 with 6:09 on the clock but, as in Wednesday's Game One overtime thriller, the Pacers made it another tight contest.
Indiana took the lead with 48 seconds remaining with two George Hill free throws though Miami had a chance when a 24-second violation on the subsequent Indiana possession gave them the ball back with the game on the line.
James had grabbed the winner with just 2.2 seconds left in overtime in Game One and he had 17.6 seconds this time to tie or win the game.
But this time, his misplaced pass was collected by Hill who was then fouled by James.
Hill made the two free throws to secure the victory and the split from Miami's home games.
The series continues on Sunday in Indiana, while in the Western Conference, San Antonio will look to take a 3-0 lead against Memphis on Saturday.