The Miami Heat are headed home with the conference finals tied after their 87-83 win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
LeBron James struggled mightily in the first half of the game but had a big fourth quarter to help Miami win an important game. James had 12 points in the fourth and 22 in the game overall.
Just like game one, the Pacers started off fast with a Lance Stephenson three-pointer in the opening minute of the game. James deflected the ball right into Stephenson’s hands. Dwyane Wade had a big start to the game scoring eight of the first ten points for Miami.
With 2:30 remaining, the Pacers took a timeout leading by six. Following the timeout, Shane Battier entered the game and quickly hit a three-pointer. After starting game one, Battier was replaced by Haslem at tip-off in this game.
The Heat finished the quarter on an 8-0. After one quarter, the Pacers held a one-point advantage at 21-20.
The second quarter began with Rasual Butler hitting two quick three-pointers for Indiana. Butler who began his career with Miami collected the six points in less than a minute combined. The Heat continued to score as well though with Chris Andersen and Wade contributing early.
With 5:36 remaining in the first half, the Heat held a three-point lead despite James only having four points thus far. James would also go to the line towards the end of the half and miss both attempts. The Heat star was a paltry 3-7 from the field in the half. In the final two minutes of the half, Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers hit three-pointers to put Miami up by eight at one point.
A Stephenson buzzer beating tip shot made it a 41-37 Miami lead at the half. It was one of several last second baskets made against the Heat in this postseason.
Chris Bosh hit a quick jump shot to make it a six-point Head lead 17 seconds into the second half. Following that, the Pacers would make five of the next six baskets to take a two-point lead with 7:17 remaining.
Stephenson continued his big game for Indiana with a dunk, layup and three-pointer along with solid defense. When the Heat took a timeout with 2:57 remaining in the third quarter, the Pacers had a six-point lead due mostly to Stephenson’s effort.
A pair of three-pointers from Bosh and Norris Cole within a minute of each other towards the end of the quarter made it a one-point game. Going into the fourth, it was 63-62 Indiana.
The fourth quarter opened with James making a big impact quickly. James hit a layup and then assisted Cole on a wide open three-pointer. With 7:32 remaining in regulation, there was a break in the action with the Pacers up one.
With 6:50 remaining in the game, Wade's knee made contact with Paul George's head and both men went down. After a timeout, the players remained in the game with Indiana holding a four-point lead. James then quickly hit a three-pointer to cut it to one. The Heat would go on an 8-0 run leading into an Indiana timeout with 3:17 remaining and Miami up five.
The run would end up being a 10-0 run before Indiana scored to end it. With 1:58 left in the fourth quarter, Miami led by five. With 21.6 left on the clock, the Pacers took a timeout with Miami up by eight. The Pacers would cut into the deficit with a late three-pointer but free throws clinched it for Miami.
Game three will take place on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the American Airlines Arena. It will be the first of two in a row played in Miami.