Pacers light up the Heat; Spurs cruise
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roy Hibbert had 19 points and 18 rebounds, George Hill scored 20 and Danny Granger 17 as the Indiana Pacers, showing more balance, toughness and togetherness than Miami, throttled the Heat 94-75 on Thursday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Overlooked during the regular season and given little chance to upset the reigning East champions, the Pacers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
LeBron James scored 22 — 16 in the first half before wearing down — and Mario Chalmers added 25 for Miami. However, Dwyane Wade scored only 5 on 2-of-13 shooting for the Heat, already missing forward Chris Bosh because of a strained abdominal muscle and not expected to return for this series.
Spurs 105, Clippers 88
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tony Parker scored 22 points on his 30th birthday, Tim Duncan had 18 and the San Antonio Spurs beat the fading Los Angeles Clippers 105-88 on Thursday night, pushing their winning streak to 16 and taking a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.
Chris Paul responded to his awful Game 1 with only a slightly better encore, scoring 10 points as the Clippers now head home desperate to steer out of what’s starting to get the feel of a sweep.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 20 points. His plan to manage his ailing knee so the All-Star would have enough steam for the fourth proved moot, as both teams emptied their benches with another Spurs blowout assured.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Los Angeles.