Pacers take control of playoff race with 84-83 win

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Nobody had it rougher than James, who missed a late 3-pointer that could have given Miami the lead and was treated like anything but royalty. Chris Bosh also missed a potential winning 3 as the buzzer sounded. Despite the loss, the Heat clinched first in the Southeast Division when Washington lost to Phoenix.

“It is what it is, they ref the game, we play it,” James said.

The four-time MVP also had eight rebounds, five assists, was 9 of 15 from the field and 14 of 15 from the free throw line.

The problem: James also had six turnovers, Wade had six more turnovers and Miami managed only one basket over the final 3:23. James and Bosh both missed late jumpers that would have given Miami the lead, the last an airball by Bosh from just right of the top of the key as time expired.

“Unfortunately, that was what I diagrammed,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It probably wasn’t the best call. It might have been a little too gunslinger on my part. I just wanted an open shot.”

They were so hard to come by Wednesday night that James was even called for a flagrant foul when he drove to the basket and sent the 7-foot-2, 290-pound Hibbert crashing to the ground. When Hibbert got up, he stumbled. Eventually he had to leave the court to change his blood-spattered jersey, but he refused to sit against the Heat.

George spurred the first fourth-quarter run with two monster dunks - one over the hand of a trailing James - to get the Pacers back in the game.

Later, it was Evan Turner, the trade deadline acquisition, who delivered two of Indiana’s biggest baskets of the night. The first came after James‘ final turnover, on a breakaway layup. The second came courtesy of Mario Chalmers’ turnover out of bounds. When the middle of the court opened up, Turner bolted through a clear path for an 81-80 lead with 90 seconds to go.

“I know how to get my space, I’ve been doing that forever, you know what I mean?” Turner said. “Some of my moves I’ve been doing since I was a little kid, so I can walk a pretty fine line when it comes to that.”

After Hibbert made 1 of 2 free throws, Turner scored on the layups, West hit the knockout 3 and all Miami got was a 3 from Bosh with 2.9 seconds left.

“They’re a tough team, psychologically against most teams they have the edge,” West said. “They’ve got the best player in the game. Their pedigree, their entire organization, you understand what you’re going to get.”

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