BASKETBALL — 23 May 2012

Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird certainly was not impressed with his team following their 115-83 loss to the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. “I can’t believe my team went soft,” Bird told Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star. “S-O-F-T. I’m disappointed. I never thought it would happen.”

Tuesday’s game delivered three flagrant fouls, and possible suspensions to be handed down by NBA commissioner David Stern. Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansborough got Dwayne Wade bloody in the first quarter. Heat forward Udonis Haslem delivered some payback to Hansbrough with a hard overhead, two-handed foul. With just 19 seconds remaining and a 35-point lead for Miami, reserve Heat big man Dexter Pittman landed an elbow to the throat of Indiana’s Lance Stephenson. Check out the video below:
Bird didn’t elaborate on his “soft” characterization nor offer any clarification if he was referring to anyone specific.
Dwayne Wade and Lebron James ran the show and combined for 58 points. Pacers center Roy Hibbert said of the performance of James and Wade, “They were just dunking, having fun and doing whatever the hell they wanted.”
Game 6 will take place on Thursday in Indiana. Things were looking rocky after the Pacers took a 2-1 series lead and Chris Bosh was sidelined with an abdominal injury. Many were predicting an early exit for the Heat; but following consecutive victories, the Heat now find themselves up 3-2.
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