INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Pacers forward David West played Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals with a 103-degree fever, a league source told Yahoo! Sports on Saturday.
As the Pacers beat the defending NBA champion Miami Heat to force a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals, West delivered an inspiring performance while battling what the organization termed an "upper respiratory infection."
After missing all seven shots in a sluggish first half, West ended the 91-77 victory with 11 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and two blocks on Saturday night at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Despite laboring in his movement and breathing in the first half, West refused his coach's overtures to take him out of the game for extended rest.
At one point, Pacers coach Frank Vogel told West in the second quarter: "I gotta get you out. You have nothing tonight."
West responded, "Let me in, I'm all right."
"That guy is all heart," Vogel said. "And it's contagious. I don't really have the words for it. His tank was on 'E" from the time he came into this building this morning … It was evident once he got out there that he didn't have anything in the tank.
"But he was just competing and giving all he had, and he was rebounding the basketball even if he wasn't making shots."
West is averaging 17 points and 7.8 rebounds in the conference finals against the Heat.
More popular NBA stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Roy Hibbert apologizes to Pacers fans for Game 5 loss
• Tim Duncan's 10 best finals moments
• Mookie Blaylock off life support following car crash
• Bucks hire former Hawks coach Larry Drew