Heat vs. Pacers Game 3, NBA Playoffs 2013: Miami dominates Indiana 114-96 to take 2-1 series lead

Gregory Shamus

LeBron James had 22 points and the Heat got some major contributions from several role players in a big Game 3 win over the Pacers.

The Miami Heat bounced back from a tough home loss in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, throttling the Indiana Pacers 114-96 to take a 2-1 series lead.

LeBron James led the Heat with 22 points, but the bigger story was the play of Miami's role players. Udonis Haslem provided a huge lift, scoring 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Mario Chalmers had 14 points, with seven of those coming during a crucial stretch in the third quarter. Chris Andersen added nine points and nine rebounds while also extending his consecutive field-goals made streak to 16.

Dwyane Wade looked more like his usual self, scoring 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting while also adding eight assists. Chris Bosh helped the Heat get off to a quick start and finished with 15 points.

Miami's offense was on point almost all night long, shooting 54.5 percent from the field. The Heat shot 62.8 percent in the first half, and the 70 points in the opening half were a franchise playoff record. Miami dominated the paint, scoring 52 points in the paint to just 36 for Indiana.

Roy Hibbert had 20 points and 17 rebounds to lead Indiana, getting to the free-throw line 15 times in the process. David West had 21 points and 10 rebounds, but he only managed five points in the second half. George Hill added 19 points.

Paul George struggled for most of the night, scoring just 13 points on 3-of-10 shooting. The Pacers shot 39.7 percent for the game after shooting 50.0 percent in the first half.

Both teams started the game on fire, with the Heat shooting 9-of-11 and the Pacers going 7-of-9 before the first timeout. Bosh and Hill both knocked down a pair of threes, while West and Hibbert did damage in the paint. Miami also got some early contributions from Udonis Haslem and Mario Chalmers, a welcome sight after a poor performance from the Heat supporting cast in Game 2.

Bosh had 10 first-quarter points and Haslem had eight as Miami shot 65.0 percent in the first quarter. Indiana nearly matched that output, shooting 55.6 percent to go into the second down just four. West and Hibbert combined for 16 points in the quarter, while Hill had nine.

The Heat quickly pushed their lead out to 10 at the outset of the second quarter, with James doing work on George in the post. James was able to score on the block while also creating excellent opportunities for his teammates, which helped Miami's offense function at a high level.

The Pacers' offense also continued to play well, but they were not able to get any closer than seven the rest of the quarter because of the Heat's prolific offense. Ray Allen gave Miami a 14-point lead with a three in the waning moments of the half, and after two George free throws, James knocked down a floater at the buzzer to send the Heat into the locker room with a 70-56 lead.

Miami scored the first two points of the second half, but Indiana then went on an 11-2 run to get right back into the game. Hill was a big part of it, hitting a three and also converting a three-point play on a nifty and-1 in transition. George woke up momentarily after a quiet first half, knocking down some jumpers and also getting to the free throw line.

However, the Heat weathered the storm, pushing their lead back out to 16 on the backs of Chalmers and Haslem. Chalmers was a little too aggressive at times, but he was able to create some easy shots for himself on drives to the basket.

Miami took a 15-point lead into the fourth quarter, and that quickly ballooned to 21 thanks to threes by Allen and Shane Battier. Indiana made a little run to cut the deficit to 15, but they were never able to get closer the rest of the way.

Game 4 is on Tuesday in Indiana.

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