Lance Stephenson ran his mouth at the wrong guy (LeBron James), Chris Bosh didn’t want a pity party and the Miami Heat let their play speak for itself.
The result? Miami rendered foul-plagued Stephenson ineffective, Bosh scored 17 of his 25 points in the first half and James scored a team-high 32 points.
The Heat led from start to finish, thumped the Pacers 102-90 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday and sent them back to Indiana in major predicament.
“I’m motivated enough to try to get back the Finals,” James said of Stephenson’s trash talk. “That’s motivating enough, and being one of the leaders of this team, I have to do my job. I have to do my part to help us win. That’s what it’s all about. … I got a smirk out of it.”
Miami leads the Pacers 3-1 in the best-of-seven series. Only eight teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a series in a NBA history.
It was the 74th playoff game where James had at least 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, passing Michael Jordan for the most in NBA history.
Paul George passed Reggie Miller for the highest scoring single-season (including playoffs) by a player in Pacers history. Miller had 2,078 in 1989-90; George entered Game 4 with 2,077 points.