For the entirety of the regular season, the supremacy of the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference was brought into serious question by the Indiana Pacers.

Then came the playoffs.

And the question was answered -- emphatically.

The Heat joined the Celtics and Lakers as the only franchises in NBA history to reach the title series in four consecutive seasons, a laugher of a conference-title finale getting Miami there again Friday night. LeBron James and Chris Bosh each scored 25 points, and the Heat eliminated the Pacers for the third straight year with a 117-92 romp in Game 6 of the East championship series.

"I'm blessed. Very blessed. Very humbled," James said. "And we won't take this opportunity for granted. It's an unbelievable franchise, it's an unbelievable group. And we know we still have work to do."

Dwyane Wade and Rashard Lewis each scored 13 points for host Miami, which trailed 9-2 before ripping off 54 of the next 75 points to erase any doubt by halftime. The Heat set a franchise record with its 11th straight home postseason win, leading by 37 at one point.

"The group loves to compete and loves to compete at the highest level and be pushed to new levels," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.


Advertisement

Indiana led the East for much of the regular season, one where the Pacers were fueled by the memory of losing Game 7 of the East finals in Miami a year ago. The Pacers were two games better in the regular season but two games worse in the postseason. Game 7, this time, would have been in Indianapolis.

"It's bitterly disappointing to fall short of our goals," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "It's bitterly disappointing to lose to this team three years in a row. But we're competing against the Michael Jordan of our era, the Chicago Bulls of our era, and you have to tip your hats to them for the way they played this whole series."

Paul George had 29 points for Indiana, David West scored 16 and Lance Stephenson -- booed all night -- finished with 11.

"No regrets. All of us played hard. They were just the better team, and they won," Stephenson said.

Knicks: Team president Phil Jackson said he has talked to Carmelo Anthony about postponing free agency, and the All-Star forward responded that he'll think about it. Anthony can opt out of the final year of his contract, which would pay him $23.3 million, and has repeatedly said that was his plan.

Cavaliers: For the second straight day, the team met with a Los Angeles Clippers assistant about its head coaching job. Alvin Gentry is the third candidate known to have interviewed this week with the Cavs, who this month fired Mike Brown for the second time. Cleveland executives met Tuesday with Chicago assistant Adrian Griffin, and the Cavs interviewed Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue on Thursday.