And in the third, the run the Pacers so desperately needed never arrived. Indiana was still within 13 with 3:37 left in the period when Hibbert picked up his fourth foul. Ordinarily, that would mean someone goes to the bench, though Game 7 on the road for a trip to the finals hardly could be classified as an ordinary occasion.
So Vogel — who was second-guessed for not having Hibbert on the floor for the final moments in overtime of Game 1, when James got to the rim easily for a game-winning layup — left his center out there with four fouls.
Barely a minute later, it backfired. Hibbert picked up his fifth late in the third, and George got to five fouls by getting whistled twice in the final 46.1 seconds of the quarter.
By then, the outcome was obvious.
It was Miami’s night.
NOTES: Miami’s Norris Cole and Indiana’s Jeff Pendergraph were ejected with 2:17 left after exchanging some heated words. ... Heat F Chris Andersen’s streak of 18 straight field goals made (he had been 15 for 15 in the series) was snapped in the first half. ... Beckham, who is deciding whether he wants to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami, was seated next to the Heat bench for the second straight game. Justin Bieber and Flo Rida were also in the crowd, as was reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera. ... The Pacers fell to 2-4 all-time in Game 7s, including 0-4 in road editions of winner-take-all games to decide the Eastern Conference title. ... Hibbert did not elaborate Monday about his comments that drew a $75,000 fine after Game 6, saying he wanted to focus on basketball instead.