Roy Hibbert scored 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, David West broke up two passes by LeBron James for huge turnovers and the visiting Indiana Pacers evened the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals at a game apiece with a 97-93 victory over the Miami Heat
MIAMI — David West punched away two passes from LeBron James in the final minute, then punched the air.
He had reason to celebrate.
The Eastern Conference finals are tied, and home-court advantage switches to West and the Indiana Pacers.
Roy Hibbert scored a postseason career-high 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, West broke up two passes by James for huge turnovers and the Pacers evened the best-of-seven East title series at a game apiece with a 97-93 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 2 on Friday.
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“We haven’t done anything yet,” Hibbert said. “We haven’t closed the series out. We won one game. A lot of us feel we should be up 2-0.”
Paul George scored 22 points, George Hill added 18 and West finished with 13 for the Pacers, who handed the defending champion Heat its fourth loss in its last 50 games. Indiana closed the game on a 13-5 run.
The series resumes with Game 3 Sunday in Indianapolis.
“It’s one of the best basketball games I’ve ever been a part of,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “It wasn’t about LeBron making mistakes down the stretch. He played one of the best basketball games I’ve ever seen anybody play.
“We were just able to make a couple plays late in the game.”
With Indiana up 95-93, West intercepted a pass James was throwing to ex-Sonic Ray Allen with 43 seconds left. Indiana didn’t cash in, instead turning the ball over with a shot-clock violation.
So on the next Miami trip, West again denied James — who led all scorers with 36 points — by getting his right hand on a pass and deflecting it to Hill.
The Heat led 88-84 in the fourth quarter, only to let the lead and the game slip away.
“I made two mistakes tonight that hurt our team,” James said. “And that hurt more than anything. I let my teammates down. They expect me to make plays down the stretch and I had the ball with an opportunity to make a couple plays, and I came up short.
“That burns, but the best thing about it is, this isn’t college. It’s not one loss and you’re done. I have another opportunity to get better in Game 3.”
• Memphis swingman Tony Allen has been fined $5,000 by the league for violating its anti-flopping rule during Game 2 of the West finals against San Antonio.
• Flynn Robinson, a guard who played on the Los Angeles Lakers’ 1971-72 championship team, died Thursday at a Los Angeles hospital after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 72.
Playing for Milwaukee in the 1969-70 season, Robinson averaged 21.8 points and was selected for the All-Star Game.