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MVP LeBron James leads Heat to win over Pacers

Chris Bosh is an injury concern though and will undergo a scan today.

Miami Heat forward LeBron James holds up his NBA MVP trophy.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James holds up his NBA MVP trophy.
Image: (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

LEBRON JAMES AND Dwyane Wade carried the Miami Heat offense in the second half. With Chris Bosh gone, they had no other choice.

And if Bosh doesn’t return soon, it may have to become a trend.

James accepted his third MVP trophy from NBA commissioner David Stern before the game, then scored 26 of his game-high 32 points while playing every second of the second half — adding a season-high 15 rebounds as well — to help the Heat survive some rough stretches and pull out a 95-86 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semi-final series last night night.

Wade scored 29 points for the Heat, but the concern level was ramped up considerably afterward because of Bosh, who did not play in the second half because of a lower abdominal strain. The Heat expect to learn results of an MRI exam today.

“Our brother is going to go (Monday) to see if he can get back out there and play with us,” Wade said. “If not, then we’ve got to have someone step up very big. You can’t fill Chris Bosh’s shoes.”

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. Indiana controlled long stretches of the first half and didn’t trail by more than two points at any time until the fourth quarter, when it was outscored 25-16. Wade and James scored 42 points in the second half, while Indiana’s entire roster managed 38.

“We started to get defensive stops,” James said. “We started getting things rolling.”

Game 2 is tomorrow in Miami.

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- Tim Reynolds

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