May 24, 2012 – Indianapolis, IN
Despite the loss of Udonis Haslem (one game) and Dexter Pittman (three games) to suspensions for hard fouls in Game 5, the Miami Heat, specifically LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, rose to the rim and the occasion brilliantly, as they sent the Indiana Pacers into the offseason, 105-93.
Wade scored 41 points, 26 of them in the first half, while James added a “mediocre” 28 points, versus David West’s 24, George Hill’s 18 and Danny Granger’s 15.
With tighter officiating, Game 6 lacked the drama of the previous game’s hard fouls, leaving mixed martial arts for another venue on another day. The Heat led the final 15 minutes of play, with the Pacers never coming closer than five points under.
Before the game, Indiana’s President, legendary Larry Bird, called his team’s defense “soft” after Game 5, while Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra fumed that no Pacers were suspended for their hard fouls.
Once down two games to one in this Eastern Conference semifinals, Miami now has three days off as they await the winner of the Boston Celtics – Philadelphia 76ers Game 7 matchup, while Indiana has several months off.