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The Miami Heat lost Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Indiana Pacers 78-75. Dwyane Wade missed a potential game-tying layup with 15 seconds to go, while Mario Chalmers missed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer that would have tied the game.
The series will shift to Indianapolis for Thursday's Game 3, with Indiana now holding home-court advantage for the series.
LeBron James led all scorers with 28 points, while Dwyane Wade scored 24 points. David West led Indiana with 16 points, adding 10 rebounds. Four Pacers scored in double digits, and Indiana outrebounded Miami by a margin of 50-40.
Miami started slow out of the gate for the second straight game, allowing the Pacers to take an early 16-9 lead. Once they woke up, the Heat began attacking the basket, finishing the first quarter on a 14-1 run to take a 21-17 lead.
The Heat led 38-33 at halftime, but completely fell apart in the third quarter. Indiana outscored Miami 28-14, with the Heat shooting an abysmal 3 of 17 during the quarter.
Miami got back on track in the final period, regaining the lead with four minutes to go on a bank shot by Wade. But that lead was short-lived. Indiana went back on top seconds later when Leandro Barbosa penetrated the Miami defense and hit a layup, and the Pacers would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game.
Not that Miami did not have plenty of chances to get back on top. James had a chance to give Miami a one-point lead with 1:22 to go, but his layup was blocked from behind by Paul George, who was fouled seconds later.
George missed both free throws, however, keeping the Heat alive. A missed jump shot by Wade was followed by a foul by Danny Granger, sending James to the line with a chance to take the lead. He missed both free throws, and the Heat would not score again.
Roy Hibbert was fouled with 32 seconds to go, but only hit one of two free throws, setting up Wade's missed layup.
The Pacers had plenty of chances to put the game away for good from the charity stripe, but shot just as badly as the Heat did late. Since they won the game, though, the narrative will likely focus on the Heat's miscues.
The absence of Heat forward Chris Bosh was felt throughout the game. Aside from Wade and James, no other Heat player scored more than 5 points. The Heat's rebounding deficit could also be at least partially attributed to Bosh's absence. He is expected to miss the rest of the series after straining his abdominal muscle in Game 1.
Miami's woes at the three-point line continued. After missing all eight 3-point attempts in Sunday's Game 1, the Heat went a terrible 1 for 16 from downtown on Tuesday. Miami shot poorly from all areas, going just 35 percent from the field. Indiana did not shoot much better, hitting only 38 percent of their shots (and just 20 percent from three-point range), but a performance like that becomes much more excusable when you can escape with a win on the road.
Game 3 tips off at 7 p.m. Thursday in Indianapolis.