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Heat offense puts away Pacers 114-96 in Game 3

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 27, 2013 at 12:05 am •  Published: May 27, 2013
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But the biggest difference between the first two games and Sunday night's rout was what James' work on the inside.

"It was something we wanted to get to just to help settle us and get into a more aggressive attack," coach Erik Spoelstra said of the decision to post up the 6-foot-8 James. "We wanted to be a little more aggressive, a little more committed to getting into the paint and seeing what would happen. LeBron was very committed and focused not to settle."

Now, with Game 4 scheduled for Tuesday, it's the Pacers turn to adjust.

"He (James) was in the post doing a lot of work, and I think we have to do a better job of helping Paul out," Hibbert said. "LeBron can't get five or six dribbles to get a post move. ... We have to make adjustments. He's obviously a low-post threat but we have to make adjustments."

Miami took advantage of a wild first quarter to build a 34-30 lead, then turned the game with James taking control in a 12-point second quarter.

He scored half of the points in an 8-2 run that gave the Heat what was then their biggest lead of the series, 42-32. A few minutes later, James did it again, making a 15-footer with 1.3 seconds left in the half to give Miami a 70-56 halftime lead and the franchise record.

"I made a conscious effort to get down in the post tonight, to put pressure on their defense," James said. "The coaching staff wanted me to be down there tonight, and my teammates allowed me to do that."

Indiana opened the second half looking more like the team that had given Miami fits in Games 1 and 2. The Pacers hit back-to-back 3-pointers and got a three-point play from George Hill. When Lance Stephenson followed that with 1 of 2 free throws, the lead had been cut to 74-67.

It didn't last.

Miami countered with a 9-4 run, extended the lead to 91-76 after three and made it 99-78 early in the fourth and Indiana never challenged again — with the 18-point margin matching Indiana's worst home loss of the season — even though James scored only four second-half points.

"We had to not play the score, play the lead, play the game," James said.

Notes: Miami's best scoring half before Sunday was a 68-point effort against Chicago on April 24, 2006. Miami's Chris Andersen has made 16 consecutive shots in the playoffs. ... Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh attended the game. Harbaugh drove the pace car at the Indy 500... The victory was Miami's first at Indiana this season. The Heat lost both regular-season games in Indy.