MIAMI (Reuters) - The Indiana Pacers threw open the NBA Eastern Conference finals on Friday, upsetting the Miami Heat with a 97-93 victory to level the best-of-seven series at 1-1.
LeBron James scored 36 points for Miami, but gave up two crucial turnovers down the stretch that cost the Heat.
Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 29 points, while Paul George added 22 and produced some outstanding defensive work.
Said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel: "This team believe we can win this series and they are giving it all their might, playing with confidence and rising to the challenge."
Indeed, the Pacers took full advantage of a slow start from Miami, grabbing a 10-point lead midway through the first quarter and going up 53-47 at half-time.
With James producing some outstanding play yet again, Miami fought back and led 88-84 with 6min 9sec left on the clock but, as in Wednesday's Game One overtime thriller, the Pacers refused to buckle and came roaring back.
Indiana took the lead with 48sec remaining through two George Hill free throws and on the next possession, James' pass intended for Ray Allen was stolen by David West.
Miami had another chance though, as a 24-second clock violation on the subsequent Indiana possession gave them the ball back with the game on the line.
However, James misplaced his pass again, and fouled Hill, who made the ensuing two free throws to secure the win.
James described those turnovers as "careless", adding: "The first thing I always look for on the stat sheet is my turnovers. I had two key ones at a big point in the game. I am very disappointed in my judgment and my plays down the stretch.
"But I'll make up for them,"
It was also a poor night for Miami's bench, who managed just 19 points with Allen, Norris Cole and Shane Battier among those who struggled.