After Game 7: Pacers Go Home, Heat Face Spurs

The Miami Heat have reached the NBA Finals. They beat the Indiana Pacers Monday night 99-76 in Miami. The Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs beginning Thursday.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Miami Heat were dominant last night as they beat the Indiana Pacers to win Game 7 of the NBA's Eastern Conference Finals. NPR's Mike Pesca reports that Miami's LeBron James led all scorers with 32 points and his team to another berth in the Finals.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: LeBron James had that look, that look that said I don't just want to beat you, I want to burn down your village and salt the fields. He drove to the basket with abandon but also kicked the ball out to his teammates to make sure everyone got involved in the first half. In Game 6, the Heat had been a one-man band, as an injured Dwyane Wade and an ineffective Chris Bosh could barely contribute. This game, James's supporting players chimed in. This Chris Bosh three-pointer is described by Reggie Miller on TNT, opened up a 10-point Heat lead midway through the second quarter.

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REGGIE MILLER: Chris Bosh, who had really been struggling until these last two shots, knocks down the long three-pointer. And that's got to feel good to a guy who has really struggled all series with the size of Roy Hibbert.

PESCA: A Dwyane Wade floater put the Heat up by 15 going into halftime and Miami never looked back - not cruised, more like crushed, the Pacers, who had displayed poise and toughness all throughout their series up until last night. After the game, Pacers center Roy Hibbert credited the Heat's experience.

ROY HIBBERT: All their guys were making the right plays and making game-winning plays, 'cause they been through it before. And, so, hopefully, we can learn from this.

PESCA: In the Finals, the Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs. Miami was 2-0 against the Spurs this year - sort of. San Antonio's best players did not make the trip to Miami back in November. The Heat returned the snub by resting Wade and James against the Spurs in April. So, the NBA Finals, which begin Thursday, will be the first time Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James will be on the same court at the same time this year. Mike Pesca, NPR News.

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MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

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