The Miami Heat fell to the Indiana Pacers 99-92 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday evening.
Roy Hibbert led the way for the Pacers with 23 points and 12 rebounds as they closed out the game with a 16-6 run to tie up the series at two games each.
Lebron James scored 24 points for the Heat in a losing cause and fouled out of playoff game for only the second time in his illustrious career.
Hibbert was the difference in the game and stated that his teammates showed an enormous amount of character and heart to pull out the victory.
“We’re mentally tough,” he said. “Not one guy in that locker room didn’t believe we were going to win this game tonight. We showed fortitude and picked each other up. We never held our heads down.
“We know they’re the champs. They’re one of the best teams in the NBA now. We’re never going to give up. We’re relentless.”
Indiana came flying out of the gates and electrified the crowd by scoring the first 11 points of the game. Miami eventually found its rhythm cutting the deficit to four points at the end of the first quarter.
The Heat kept plugging away and were only down one at the half-time break before going on a 9-0 run to take a six-point lead early in the third quarter.
However, Lance Stephenson, who scored 20 points on the night, hit a big three at the end of the quarter to give the Pacers a 77-70 advantage heading into the final frame.
The lead swung back and forth in the final 12 minutes, with Indiana finally taking control thanks to Hibbert’s three-point play with 90 seconds remaining, and they never relinquished the lead.
It was a huge win for Indiana and forward David West hailed the efforts of his teammates after the game.
“I just felt the guys showed a lot of fight,” he said. “We’ve got a group of guys on this team that are full of heart.”
The Miami Heat fell to the Indiana Pacers and now must regroup in time for Thursday’s crucial Game 5 at American Airlines Arena.