Friday, May 30, 2014
Top stats to know: Heat advance to Finals
By ESPN Stats & Information
The 2014 conference finals have been filled with lopsided games. None may have felt more lopsided than this series clincher by the Miami Heat over the Indiana Pacers on Friday.
The Heat romped behind their Big Three to advance to the NBA Finals for the fourth straight season.
The Heat are the first team to reach four straight NBA Finals since the Boston Celtics in 1984-87.
They improved to 10-0 at home in potential series-clinching games in the James-Wade-Bosh era and 9-1 at home against the Pacers over the past two seasons (this was their seventh straight win).
They’ve won 12 straight home playoff games following a loss.
LeBron James turns it around
LeBron James was more aggressive in Game 6, driving a team-high 14 times and generating 18 points off those drives. James drove only five times in Game 5 partly due to foul trouble, yielding no points on those plays.
James didn’t let Lance Stephenson get to him in Game 6, as Stephenson took on a bigger role guarding him.
James scored nine of his 15 points against Stephenson on drives in Game 6 after recording no points off drives against him in the first five games.
James was 8-for-12 from the field (67 percent), his best field goal percentage in a potential series-clinching game in his playoff career.
Pacers didn’t get the contributions they needed early
David West and Lance Stephenson combined to make nine of their first 12 shots for the Pacers.
The problem was that their teammates to that point were a combined 1-for-16 and had only three points.
The Heat were up by 26 points at halftime. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that was the largest lead they’ve ever had at halftime of a playoff game.
The Heat went 1-1 against both the Thunder and Spurs this season. Should the Heat face the Spurs, it would be the first NBA Finals rematch since the Chicago Bulls faced the Utah Jazz and won both series, in 1997 and 1998.
Elias notes that when the Heat take the court in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James will join Bob McAdoo and Dennis Johnson as the only players in NBA history to play in the NBA Finals in each of their first four seasons with a new team.