MIAMI (AP) — For so much of the night, just about everything was going wrong for the Miami Heat. They were missing every 3-pointer, arguing plenty of calls, even screaming at one another.
Then one quick burst changed everything.
Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, LeBron James added 24 on a sore left ankle, and Chris Bosh and Ray Allen connected on huge 3-pointers within a 31-second span down the stretch. It all added up to the Heat erasing a 15-point deficit in the final 18 minutes to beat the rival Indiana Pacers 97-94 on Wednesday.
"It shows we're a team that's been there before," Wade said. "No matter what the score is we always feel we have an opportunity to win the game."
So even when Indiana led 68-53 midway through third quarter, hope remained.
And even when James and Mario Chalmers were getting in a heated exchange during one particularly bleak stretch — James said afterward that he was wrong, and Chalmers said the matter was forgotten — the Heat didn't fall apart.
"It was a good win," James said. "Good, good, quality win against a very good team on our home floor. We had to overcome a lot."
Paul George scored 25 points for Indiana but missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it with 4 seconds left, and insisted afterward that he was fouled by James on the play.
"I went into my shot, got pushed in the back, I thought it was a foul, nothing was called, and we lost the game," George said. "Aside of that we still should have taken care of business."
David West had 23 points and Lance Stephenson added 13 for the Pacers, who have dropped two straight and saw their lead over Miami in the Eastern Conference trimmed to one game. Both teams have won against the other on their home floor this season, and Miami topped Indiana at home in Game 7 of the East finals a year ago.
"It's December," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "I think you have two great teams going at it. It's going to be a fun series all season, the regular-season matchups, and hopefully we will both be able to reach a point in the playoffs where we can meet again."
Miami got the 15-point deficit down to five by the end of the third quarter, and was still down 92-85 when West scored with 3:21 remaining.
Then, for the first time all night, the Heat put together a real run.