MIAMI — The Miami Heat remained unbeaten at home in the playoffs, defeating the Indiana Pacers 99-87 on Saturday night at American AirlinesArena and taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals.
The Heat is 6-0 at home in the postseason and gets another game in its arena on Monday night. The Pacers had their five-game road winning streak snapped.
Miami forward LeBron James scored 26 points and guard Dwyane Wade finished with 23 after a scoreless first quarter. James sat out the start of the fourth quarter due to leg cramps, but he returned within three minutes.
Another key was the play of reserve guard Ray Allen, who scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter as Miami outscored Indiana 28-23.
Pacers forward Paul George, who suffered a concussion Tuesday when he was accidentally kicked in the head by Wade, scored 17 points Saturday.
Center Roy Hibbert scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter, forward David West added 13 points and guard Lance Stephenson had 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Miami used an 8-0 run to take its first lead of the game with 7:36 left in the third quarter, moving ahead 52-51. Miami outscored Indiana 33-22 in the third to take a 71-64 lead. Miami shot 73.3 percent in the quarter while Indiana made just 36.8 percent.
Wade hit a pair of 3-pointers — one to end the third quarter and one to start the fourth. He has now made just four 3-pointers for the entire playoffs.
Indiana led by as many as 14 points early. But Miami closed with a 9-2 run to cut the deficit to 21-14 after the first quarter.
The Heat was sloppy, committing seven turnovers and shooting just 37.5 percent in the quarter. The Pacers shot 56.3 percent with four turnovers and won the paint-points battle, 14-8.
The Heat cut the deficit to 42-38 at halftime. Wade, held scoreless in the first quarter, ended the half with eight points.
The other statistics turned around, too. The Heat shot 60 percent and had four turnovers in the second quarter. The Pacers had eight turnovers, and Hibbert, who had 10 points in the first quarter, went scoreless.
NOTES: Two reserve point guards — Indiana’s C.J. Watson and Miami’s Norris Cole — were issued technical fouls for their minor skirmish in the first quarter. … The Heat activated C Greg Oden for the first time since the opening series against Charlotte. Heat F Michael Beasley was a healthy scratch. … Heat coach Erik Spoelstra “hates that rule” that only 13 of the 15 players on a roster are allowed to be active each game. It sometimes forces healthy scratches. “I’d like to have everyone available,” he said. … Heat F Udonis Haslem started his second straight game. F Shane Battier got the start ahead of him in the opener of the series. … F Paul George said his Pacers would have won Game 2 had he not suffered a concussion.
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