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By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
Topic - George Hill
The Pacers' season of great expectation is now in great trouble, with the Miami Heat leading the Eastern Conference finals 3-1 heading into Game 5 at Indianapolis on Wednesday night. The Heat have won three straight in the series, and are now one win from ending the Pacers' season for a third consecutive year.
Inside a downtrodden Indiana Pacers locker room, Lance Stephenson had an interesting choice of words.
Frank Vogel stood with his back against a wall, seeming perfectly comfortable.
LeBron James had 32 points and 10 rebounds, Chris Bosh added 25 points and the Miami Heat moved one win away from a return trip to the NBA Finals with a 102-90 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.
The Pacers waited all season for the playoff rematch with Miami.
Indiana is done talking about home-court advantage.
Indiana led wire-to-wire and never even gave the Heat a chance to tie the score after starting the game with a 5-0 lead. Game 2 is Tuesday in Indiana. The home team has won all five meetings this season.
Paul George forced Indiana Pacers coach Frank Vogel to leave him on the court.
For the final 1½ months of the regular season, and the first eight games of the playoffs, the Indiana Pacers' suddenly sloppy play raised all sorts of questions.
It all starts with defense, the single most important reason the Pacers own a 2-1 lead over the Washington Wizards heading into Sunday night's Game 4 of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series.
All told, the Wizards had three opportunities to pull themselves back into the game in the final minutes, but three missed 3-point shots by Wall and Beal did them no favors.
Indiana Pacers' center Roy Hibbert bounced back from an abominable first game Wednesday, scoring a season-high 28 points as the Pacers defeated the Wizards 86-82.
The traditionally-built Pacers seemed to welcome the respite offered in the second round by another team that was equally balanced. The matchups were one thing; anticipating the effort and intensity Washington brought was another.
Big Roy came up with a big answer for his critics and his teammates Wednesday night.
The five-day waiting period between the end of the Washington Wizards' first-round series Tuesday and the start of their second-round series with the Indiana Pacers on Monday could have been viewed one of two ways.
"I think that is when we are at our best, when our back is against the wall," Pacers guard George Hill said. "We are going to be home in front of our fans and I'm sure they're going to be going crazy."
"Home-cooking," George said.