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The Miami Heat will be returning to the NBA Finals for the fourth time since the start of the LeBron era. They are now the third team in NBA history to reach the finals in four straight seasons. Pending game 6 of the Western Conference Championship, the Heat will be facing either the Oklahoma City Thunder or San Antonio Spurs in the finals.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) May 31, 2014
image via Twitter from NBATV
All season long the Heat’s dominance was questioned, mainly by the Indiana Pacers. The Heat entered this year’s playoffs as a two seed for the third time during the LeBron era. The Pacers earned the one seed.
However, none of this mattered when the Eastern Conference Championship came around. The big story eventually surrounded LeBron and Lance Stephenson. A big storyline involved Stephenson blowing into LeBron’s ear during a disappointing game 5 for the Heat.
It all came down to game 6 with the Heat up 3-2 in the series. LeBron and the Heat entered the game wanting to send a message and eventually won 117-92. During the first quarter of the game Stephenson put his hand to LeBron’s face and touched his beard. Without hesitation, LeBron turned to him and said, “Hey, yo, you touch my face one more time …," according to Yahoo.
The Pacers have been trying to top the Heat all season long thinking back to the game 7 loss in the Eastern Conference Finals just a year earlier. This fueled them the whole season with the one goal of dethroning the Heat as kings of the conference. “It’s bitterly disappointing to fall short of our goals,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said via NYPost.