MVP James gets 32, Heat top Pacers 95-86 in Game 1
By TIM REYNOLDS
Posted May 13 2012 7:13PM
MIAMI (AP) LeBron James got his trophy, and then he and Dwyane Wade made sure the Miami Heat got a win in Game 1.
James scored 32 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in his first game as a three-time MVP, Wade finished with 29 despite struggling from the floor, and the Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 95-86 to open their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Sunday.
Chris Bosh scored 13 points for Miami, but left late in the first half with a lower abdominal injury and did not return, with the Heat saying he was scheduled for an MRI to determine the extent of the problem. The Heat outscored Indiana 25-16 in the fourth, with Wade and James combining for 22 of those points.
Wade and James outscored Indiana 42-38 in the second half.
“It’s a battle and we know, regardless of being at home, being away, who we’re playing, what round, it’s tough to win in the playoffs and you have to fight for every single possession,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And that’s what it was.”
David West and Roy Hibbert each scored 17 points and combined for 23 rebounds for the Pacers, who got 10 points each from Darren Collison and George Hill.
“I thought we were just on our heels a little too much,” West said.
Game 2 is Tuesday in Miami.