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For the Finals: Pacers, Heat to meet in Game 7

Monday - 6/3/2013, 9:38pm  ET

Indiana Pacers head coach Frank Vogel directs his team during the first half of Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference basketball finals against the Miami Heat in Indianapolis, Saturday, June 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer

MIAMI (AP) -- As the final horn in a Game 6 loss to the Indiana Pacers was sounding, LeBron James walked toward several of his Miami Heat teammates to shake some hands and share a couple of quick words.

His message was clear: Get ready for Game 7.

Here comes the ultimate game. To the winner, a trip to the NBA Finals. To the loser, an offseason loaded with regret. It's that simple now for the champion Heat and the confident Pacers, who meet in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals Monday night in Miami -- a perk the Heat earned by finishing with the league's best record this season.

"Each and every year there are 30 teams that would love to be a part of this, to have one game to advance to the NBA Finals," James said. "And there's two teams that's in this position. And it's something that you can't substitute, this feeling. You can't substitute the atmosphere that we're going to be in on Monday night for both teams. We should all cherish this moment."

When it's over Monday, only one club will be cherishing the outcome.

For the Heat, it's a chance to move into the finals for the third straight year and keep hope alive of winning a second straight title. For the Pacers, it's a chance to cap what would surely go into the books as one of the biggest upsets in NBA playoff history, considering that they finished 16
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