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James, Wade lead Heat over Pacers

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INDIANAPOLIS — Forward LeBron James and guard Dwyane Wade put on a show they have done so many times before for the Miami Heat.

James and Wade scored Miami’s final 20 points as the Heat stormed back in the final five minutes Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to defeat the Indiana Pacers 87-83 and tie their Eastern Conference final series at one game apiece.

The Pacers were ahead 75-72 with 5:33 left, leaving the Heat staring at their first two-game deficit in a playoff series since 2010 and the first time ever in the James era. James simply wouldn’t allow it to happen. He scored three baskets and assisted on a Wade slam during a 10-0 Miami run.

“I needed to do something in the fourth (quarter),” said James, who scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter.

“The last three minutes, LeBron stepped up and made plays,” said Indiana guard Lance Stephenson, who scored a game-high 25 points, including 10 in the third quarter.

James wasn’t alone. Wade led the Heat with 23 points; he also led Miami in scoring in Game 1 on Sunday. Wade hit all five shots he took in the fourth quarter, including a basket on an offensive rebound following a James miss. Combined, James and Wade hit 9-of-12 shots, and had four rebounds and four assists.

“We had no idea what we were doing until the end of the game,” James said. “We’re just making plays.”

Said Wade: “The ball is in our hands. That’s what we wanted when we came here. That’s what we envisioned.’

Game 3 of the best-of-seven series will be played Saturday night in Miami. The Pacers were winless in two games at AmericanAirlines Arena during the regular season.

Miami forward/center Chris Andersen came off the bench to grab a team-high 12 rebounds, and reserve guard Norris Cole scored 11 points.

Indiana forward Paul George added 14 points. Center Roy Hibbert had 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, and guard George Hill scored 13.

The Pacers received a scare when George went down after a collision with Wade in the fourth quarter and stayed on the floor for about two minutes. After being helped to the bench during a timeout, George returned to the game. He scored six points in the final quarter, but complained of blurred vision after the game. He played all 24 minutes of the second half.

Pacers coach Frank Vogel said George was cleared to play during a quick medical examination during the timeout.

For the second consecutive game, all five Pacers starters reached double figures in scoring. George scored 12 and had six assists. Stephenson had seven assists and six rebounds to go with his 25 points.

“He made a lot of big shots and big plays,” Vogel said.

James was held to 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting through the first three quarters while being defended closely by George.

“He wasn’t in a rhythm through the first 30 minutes of the game and he just found a way to break free on a couple cuts, transition and that just kind of got him going,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.

When Miami began its 10-0 run in the final quarter, it trailed the Pacers by three points after a basket by Hibbert. When the 10-point streak ended with a basket by Wade, the Heat led 82-75 with less than three minutes left.

“It happens,” George said. “We would have liked not to have had a stretch like that, but it happens. We played a good game. Just coming down to the wire, we have to sharpen.”

Two Indiana turnovers in the final quarter led to Heat baskets.

“Ultimately it doomed us,” Indiana forward David West said. “We have to take care of the basketball. We can’t give up those turnovers for baskets.”

Hibbert was a dominant presence inside. He had nine rebounds in the first half, more than twice the total of any other player. At one point in the opening quarter, he tapped back offensive rebounds to teammates on two consecutive misses.

NOTES: Miami F Udonis Haslem, who started instead of Game 1 starter Shane Battier, scored seven points, but his defense helped the Heat limit Pacers F David West to 10 points. … Indiana G/F Evan Turner was back on the Pacers’ bench after missing Sunday’s game due to strep throat. He has played in 11 of Indiana’s 15 postseason games, but he did not see action Tuesday. … Because the series does not resume until Game 3 is played Saturday night in Miami, Spoelstra said the Heat would take Wednesday off. They will next practice Thursday. … The Pacers have not won a game in Miami since Game 2 of the 2013 Eastern Conference finals. … Of those still playing in the postseason, Indiana F Paul George ranks No. 1 in steals with 2.21 per game. However, he has just one to Miami F LeBron James’ five through the series’ first two games.