Dormant most of the night, LeBron James sprung to life in the
final quarter scoring 12 of his 22 points, while Dwyane Wade dropped
10 of his team high 23 to lift the Heat to a battling 87-83 victory
and even the Eastern Conference final at a game apiece.
Imposing their will on the contest, James and Wade combined for 22
points in the final quarter, including Miami's final 20 points over
the last 7:51 of the game.
"That's what it is about, it isn't going to be pretty," said James.
"It's never pretty basketball in the Eastern conference, it's about
who can sustain runs.
"Who can get the defensive stops, who cannot turn the ball over and
who can get great shots and I think we did that in the fourth.
"I needed to do something in fourth...I needed to make a few buckets
in the fourth quarter and was able to come through for us.
"We're never satisfied until we close out a series so have a lot of
work to do."
The best-of-seven series now shifts to South Beach for Game Three on
Saturday, giving the Pacers plenty of time to ponder a missed
After rolling to an impressive win over the Heat in Game One on
Sunday, the Pacers finally flashed the form that had been expected
from the East's top seed as Indiana looked ready to seize control of
But the Heat have developed a habit of bouncing back after a playoff
loss and continued that trend at a raucous Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
With the victory, the Heat have now gone 40 playoff games without
suffering consecutive losses, a run that stretches back to the 2012
East final against the Boston Celtics.
Since James, Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces in Miami, four times
the Heat have lost the opening game of a playoff series and each
time recovered to win the series.
"It's not demoralizing, we know they are great, great players (James
and Wade)," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "They're a great team.
They are the champs.
"That's what we expect from those guys because they have been there
"So we've just got to respond."
[to top of second column]
The Pacers, who sputtered through the opening two rounds of playoffs
needing seven games to eliminate Atlanta and six to see off
Washington, were firing on all cylinders in Game One against Miami
on Sunday and backed by seething arena and carried that momentum
into Tuesday charging to an 18-10 lead.
But there was no panic on the Miami bench as the Heat, making their
fourth straight appearance in the East final, patiently chipped away
at the Indiana advantage trimming the deficit to a single point at
the end of the opening quarter.
The Heat continued their surge into the second taking a 41-37 lead
into the intermission, despite a modest six point first half
contribution from James.
Indiana threatened to pull away again in the third but could not
hold off the Heat as James and Wade took control.
"This is a hotly contested series, two teams that defend, physical
and you just have to keep on staying with it," said Heat coach Erik
"He (James) wasn't in a rhythm through the first 30 minutes of the
game but he found a way to break free...at this point it is just
whatever it takes.
"However you can contribute to help us win."
(Editing by Patrick Johnston)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.