The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers will be meeting for a third consecutive season in the playoffs and for the second consecutive year in the Eastern Conference finals when they begin the best-of-seven series Sunday in Indianapolis (3:30 p.m, EDT, ABC).
The Heat won last year’s series in seven games to advance to the NBA Finals against San Antonio. In 2012, the Heat and Pacers met in the conference semifinals with the Heat winning in six games.
Here’s a recap of how these 13 games have gone.
May 13, Heat 95-86, at Miami: LeBron James (32) and Dwyane Wade (29) combined for 61 points as the Heat played the second half without the third member of their Big Three. Chris Bosh sat out with a strained abdominal muscle. James and Wade combined for 22 points and the Heat outscored the Pacer 25-16 in the fourth quarter. David West and Roy Hibbert scored 17 points each to lead the Pacers.
May 15, Pacers 78-75, at Miami: West scored 16 points to lead four Pacers in double figures. James and Wade scored 28 and 24, respectively, but nobody else had more than five points each for the Heat, who shot only 34.6 percent from the field.
May 17, Pacers 94-75, at Indianapolis: Miami led by nine points after the first quarter, but the Pacers took command after that. It was tied 43-43 at the half, and the Pacers rolled to a 51-32 advantage in the second half. The Heat got a game-high 25 points from Mario Chalmers and 22 from James but only five from Wade, who had a confrontation with coach Erik Spoelstra on the bench in the second half. Bosh did not play because of the stomach injury.
May 20, Heat 101-93, at Indianapolis: James and Wade were at it again, combining for 70 points and 38 in a row at one point. James had 18 rebounds to go with his 40 points. The Heat trailed by 10 points in the second quarter and the Pacers led 54-46 at the half, but Heat dominated the second half 55-39. Danny Granger led the Pacers in scoring with 20 points.
May 22, Heat 115-83, at Miami: James scored 30 points and was in double figures again in rebounds with 10, and Wade turned in another solid game with 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Danny Granger, who had been getting physical trying to defend James in the two previous games, missed most of the second half because of an ankle injury, and West hurt his knee. The Pacers were only 30-of-89 from the field.
May 24, Heat 105-93, at Indianapolis: The Pacers jumped out to an early 10-point lead and still led 53-51 at the half, but again, the last two quarters belonged to Miami. Wade had his biggest game, scoring 41 points, and James contributed 28. Mike Miller had 12 off the bench for Miami. West led five Pacers in double figures with 24 points. The Heat’s win closed out the series in six games.
May 22, Heat 103-102 (OT), in Miami: James took an inbounds pass and banked in a left-handed layup just before the buzzer as the Heat denied the Pacers the opportunity to steal the opener. James finished with 30 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists for his ninth career playoff triple-double. Paul George, whose 3-pointer with under a second remaining in regulation had sent the game to the overtime, hit three free throws after being fouled by Wade on his 3-point attempt to give the Pacers a 102-101 lead with 2.2 seconds left. That set up the situation for James’ heroics.
May 24, Pacers 97, Heat 93: If the Pacers were deflated from the loss in Game 1, they didn’t show it. Hibbert had 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who were whistled for three technical fouls. James had a game-high 36 points but also made five turnovers, two late in the fourth quarter.
May 26, Heat 114-96, at Indianapolis: The Heat took command at the outset with all five starters scoring in double figures and the bench contributing 28 points. The Heat were up 70-58 at the half and outscored the Pacers 52-36 in the paint for the game. The Heat shot 54.5 percent from the field to the Pacers’ 39.7.
May 28, Pacers 99-92, at Indianapolis: The series continued to seesaw as Hibbert converted a huge 3-point play with 1:30 remaining to key the Pacers’ win. The Pacers outscored the Heat 13-3 over the final five minutes. James led all scorers with 24 points and Hibbert led Indiana with 23.
May 30, Heat 90-79, at Miami: James scored 16 of his game-high 30 points in the third quarter as the Heat outscored the Pacers 30-13 in the period. The Pacers led 44-40 at the half but trailed 70-57 entering the fourth. The bitterness between the two teams continued with the Pacers whistled for two technical fouls and the Heat three. George scored 27 points to lead the Pacers in scoring.
June 1, Pacers 91-77, at Indianapolis: The Pacers forced a seventh game, overcoming 21 turnovers with a defense that limited the Heat to just 36.1 percent shooting from the field. Once again, James led all scorers with 29 points, but next up was Wade and Chalmers with just 10 points each. The Pacers shot 50 percent and got 28 points from George and 24 from Hibbert.
June 3, Heat 99-76, at Miami: The usual Game 7 drama lasted for about a quarter. The Pacers led 21-19 at the first quarter stop, but the Heat blitzed the visitors 33-16 in the second to assume a 52-39 lead. James had another 30-plus game with 32 points on 8-of-17 shooting from the field and 15-of-16 from the free throw line. Wade added 21. Hibbert led the Pacers with 18 points. Neither team shot particularly well with the Pacers at 40.8 percent and the Heat at an even 39.