Shut up, Lance Stephenson.
That was the message of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and now, Chris Bosh after the Miami Heat won their third straight against the hapless Indiana Pacers in Game 4, 102-90 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
They shut down Roy Hibbert too as the much-maligned center and perhaps the most overpaid big man in the league laid another egg after a scoreless and punchless evening in Miami.
James had 32 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals in yet another dominant performance for the Heat, which now holds a commanding 3-1 series lead in this best-of-seven affair. Wade added 15 points and Bosh finally made his mark in this series with 25 markers including 3-of-5 from behind the arc.
The Heat’s big three was too much for the Pacers, which got 23 points from Paul George, a double-double of 20 an 12 from David West but got zero points from Hibbert, who missed all of his four shots and played just 22 minutes.
Stephenson, after attacking James in the media, couldn’t back up his trash talk finishing with just 9 points on 3-of-7 shooting.
This was a virtual do-or-die game for the Pacers on the road. In NBA Playoffs history, teams who grabbed a 3-1 series lead have won 96 per cent of the time. Plus winning three straight against the defending champions is an even more daunting task. Indiana has a chance to extend the series but Miami wants to return to the NBA Finals with a road the win in Game 5 set on Thursday.
Miami started off well early earning the 27-to-19 lead after the first quarter. They never let up and led wire-to-wire on the way to the easy victory. The Heat turned a five point half time lead to a 15-point advantage entering the payoff period.