The Miami Heat reached the NBA finals thanks to a convincing 99-76 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 at the American Airlines Arena on Monday night.
Lebron James scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Dwyane Wade bounced back from a couple of underwhelming performances to chip in with 21 points.
The Heat booked their third consecutive trip to the finals where they will face the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 on Monday in Miami.
James was proud of his display in the deciding game of the Eastern Conference final and revealed that he was not going to let this opportunity slip through his fingers.
“This is what it’s all about,” he said. “I’ve dreamed about this as a kid to have a Game 7, no matter at home or on the road. And that game allows you to advance to the finals. I’ve had multiple dreams about it.
“We just focused on every possession, trying to get stops, play Miami Heat defense, create havoc and I thought we did that.”
The Pacers held a slim two point lead after the first quarter but it was all Miami after that and the home side boasted a 52-37 advantage at halftime.
Indiana did itself no favors by turning the ball over 19 times and had no answer for Miami’s superstars. Wade was relieved after his performance and said that he never let his critics affect his play.
“Everything that happened in the first six games didn’t matter,” he said. “It was all about Game 7.”
Miami never looked back in the third and fourth quarters and now have a chance to defend its NBA title much to the delight of coach Erik Spoelstra.
“We’ll enjoy this win,” he said. “For a short time.”
The Miami Heat reached the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year after the big win over the Pacers and will look to cap off one of the greatest season in basketball history.
[Image via Yahoo.com]