TERRE HAUTE —
The prelims are over and the finals begin Thursday in the National Basketball Association with Miami going for a second straight title against San Antonio, looking for its first championship since 2007.
The Indiana Pacers gave the all-stars from Miami all they wanted and then some before the Heat took charge to win the seventh game Monday.
As one person put it, the Heat rediscovered their dominance with LeBron James scoring 32 points on 17 shots and getting good help from Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen. And two keys to the contest were 21 turnovers by the Pacers and 15 offensive boards by Miami.
San Antonio again is led by Tim Duncan, who seeks his fifth title. He’s 37 and has been in the league 16 seasons. He and his teammates have had plenty of rest since disposing of Memphis in the playoffs.
The Pacers ended a season in which they overachieved — at least according to several prognosticators — and appear to be set for the immediate future.
Off the court, two NBA pros, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd, have announced their retirement. They came into the league the same season (1994-95) and shared rookies honors that season.
Kidd recorded the third-most doubles-doubles (107) in the league and ended up second in assists with 12,091, while Hill was hampered by ankle problems and missed lots of games.
• Coaching changes — Coaching changes have been made in recent days.
Brian Oliver will be the new football coach at Linton after serving as the junior varsity coach for about 10 seasons. He played football for the Miners and graduated in 1996.
Chris Jones is the new boys basketball coach at Rising Sun. He’s had a ton of success as the softball coach at South Putnam, guiding the Eagles to two 2A state titles, but says his desire has been to coach basketball.
Amanda Carmichael is the new girls basketball coach at Bloomington North. She is the wife of Eastern Greene boys basketball coach Levi Carmichael and has coached at New Albany and Paoli.
• Stars on road — The Indiana junior all-star basketball teams will be busy in the next week or so.
They will play the Kentucky junior stars in games this weekend in Indiana and Kentucky. Next week, they will go up against the Indiana All-Stars in exhibitions.
One of them is Monday at Sullivan with the girls game beginning at 6 p.m.
Rhagen Smith of Sullivan is an All-Star and Julie Meeks is on the coaching staff.
Indiana State recruit Bryant McIntosh of Greensburg is one of the junior all-stars. One of his teammates is Jacob Johnson of Mooresville.
• Tom-Cattin’ It — Blake Cessinger of Clay City says he will play basketball at Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Ill. Koye Kaiser of Linton hopes to play golf at Vincennes University. … Indiana University won the NCAA baseball regional played at IU and will meet Florida State in Super Regional action. Former ISU coach Bob Warn was tournament director for the regional at IU. He has had this title in previous seasons. … It was good to see Chad Collins among the leaders in web.com golf action that ended Sunday. Hope he continues to have good finishes. … Mike Conway and Simon Pagenaud were winners in IndyCar Series races run in Detroit. The last time no Penske Racing or Ganassi Racing driver had won a race this late in the season was 1978. Ryan Briscoe drove for Panther Racing after J.R. Hildebrand was let go by the team. … TV ratings were good for the Miami-Indiana playoff games. … The Kansas City Royals have hired George Brett as interim hitting coach, hoping to hype up their offense. … Two former Indiana high school cagers are returning to the state to play their final seasons. Evan Gordon of Indianapolis North Central will be at IU after playing for and graduating from Arizona State while Errick Peck of Indianapolis Cathedral will be at Purdue after playing for and graduating from Cornell. Another North Central grad, Patrick Ingram, intends to leave Iowa after one season. … Jack Butler was an NFL Hall-of-Fame player with Pittsburgh but was not drafted out of college at St. Bonaventure. He died recently at the age of 85.
Tom Reck may be contacted by phone at (812) 232-3231, by email at email@example.com or by mail at 4284 S. Fifth St., Apt. 3, Terre Haute, IN 47802.