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Heat recover from early hole, take 2-1 lead over Pacers

Staring an ugly 17-4 deficit in the face, the Miami Heat had no choice but to regroup and claw their way back.

Thanks to some massive runs at the end of quarters and a big game from LeBron James, the Heat rallied for a 99-87 victory over the Indiana Pacers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The win gave Miami a 2-1 series lead and allowed the Heat to maintain the homecourt advantage they stole in Indiana.

The Pacers put Miami in a big hole early behind the energetic play of Lance Stephenson. After the Heat closed within seven at the end of the first quarter, Indiana pushed the lead back to 15 in the second frame. A 16-5 Heat run to end the first half brought Miami within 42-38.

LeBron James scored 12 of his 26 points in the third quarter, as Miami took control of the game. With James briefly sidelined with a lower leg issue, Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade helped close out the game. The duo combined for 18 of Miami's 28 fourth quarter points, and the Heat stretched out an insurmountable 15-point lead.

James added seven assists, five rebounds and four steals to his stat line. He played a team-high 40 minutes, knocking down 9-of-14 shots from the field.

Game 4 is set for Tuesday in Miami.