Heat handle Pacers, head back to Finals

Miami 99, Indiana 76

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MIAMI — Their season, their legacy, their reign atop the NBA was all at stake, and the Miami Heat responded to all of that in a manner befitting champions.

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Miami center Chris Bosh had nine points and eight rebounds in Monday night's game. It's the fourth trip to the finals for the Heat, who came away with the title in 2006.  LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Miami center Chris Bosh had nine points and eight rebounds in Monday night's game. It's the fourth trip to the finals for the Heat, who came away with the title in 2006.

With a blowout.

It’s on to the NBA Finals for the Heat after they put away the Indiana Pacers, who saw their hopes of a storybook upset fall apart in a hurry.

LeBron James scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, ailing Dwyane Wade matched his postseason high with 21 points and the Heat ran away from the Pacers, 99-76, in Game 7 of the Eastern Con­ference Finals Monday night.

The Heat earned the right to play the San An­tonio Spurs in a series starting Thursday night in Miami.

Miami led by as many as 28 points, a shocking amount for a series that had an aggregate score of Heat 569, Pacers 564 entering Monday night.

The Heat trailed by six in the early going and were still down 21-19 after the first quarter, and it was starting to look as though it was going to be one of those down-to-the-wire nights.

Not even close.

Ray Allen added 10 points for Miami, which won its 78th game of the season, matching the 11th-best single-season total in NBA history.

Roy Hibbert scored 18 points for the Pacers, who also got 14 from David West, 13 from George Hill and 10 from Lance Stephenson. All-Star Paul George was held to seven points on 2-for-9 shooting and fouled out early in the fourth quarter.

NBA FINALS

(Best-of-7; x-if necessary)

THURSDAY: San Antonio at Miami, 9 p.m.

SUNDAY: San Antonio at Miami, 8

JUNE 11: Miami at San Antonio, 9

JUNE 13: Miami at San Antonio, 9

X-JUNE 16: Miami at San Antonio, 8

X-JUNE 18: San Antonio at Miami, 9

X-JUNE 20: San Antonio at Miami, 9


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