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NBA Playoffs 2014: Miami Heat Poised to Grab Series Lead Versus Indiana Pacers in Game 3 of East Finals

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By James Patrick Quizon | May 24, 2014 12:51 AM EST

The Indiana Pacers lost a very valuable advantage in their mission to unseat the defending champions: homecourt. The Miami Heat are not apologizing for stealing it as the Big Three Two, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, exploded in the payoff period to grab the 87-83 in Game 2 last Tuesday to tie the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.

Reuters
May 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) scrambles for a loose ball against Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Watson (32) in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Eastern Conference Finals resume play on Saturday evening (Sunday morning Australia) and both banged-up squads welcome the brief respite in this postseason.

How big were James and Wade? For the game they combined for 55 points or 63.2 per cent of the Heat’s total output. They were even bigger during crunchtime. James scored 12, Wade 10 to score 22 of the final 25 points of the Heat in the final and fourth quarter.

The Pacers had their chances and even had an early 8-point lead. In the payoff period, they led 75-72 with 5:03 to go in the game but couldn’t contain the Heat’s duo who led a 15-8 run to end the game.

Unlike in Game 1 when they shot over 50 per cent, the Pacers struggled in this one making just 32-of-80 attempts from the field for exactly 40.0 per cent.

Paul George’s evening was the epitome of Indiana’s poor efforts shooting 4-of-16 field goals for just 14 markers. David West had a similar atrocious night missing 9-of-16 shots (10 points) while the much-maligned Roy Hibbert actually had 12 points and 13 rebounds.

George suffered a concussion after being hit unintentionally by Wade’s knee during Game 2 and was limited in the Pacers practice. But with enough rest between games George is not expected to miss the crucial Game 3.

With the series tied, the series shifts to Miami for the first time. The Heat are perfect at home this postseason with a 5-0 win-loss record

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(Photo: Reuters / Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
May 20, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Heat guard Norris Cole (30) scrambles for a loose ball against Indiana Pacers guard C.J. Watson (32) in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
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