Pacers fall to Heat 99-87 in Game 3 of Eastern Conference Finals - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Pacers fall to Heat 99-87 in Game 3 of Eastern Conference Finals

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MIAMI - After taking an early lead, the Pacers fell to the Heat 99-87 in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

In a game of ups and downs, the Pacers enjoyed a lead as large as 15 points in the first half and trailed by as much in the second.

At the end of the first quarter, Indiana held a 21-14 lead but at one point, they had been up 20-5 thanks to four Heat turnovers in the first 6:00 of play. The Pacers held strong, though. Thanks to some help from the bench in the form of Rasual Butler, Lance Stephenson and Luis Scola, they extended their lead back to 15 with 6:15 left in the half. By halftime, though, their lead was back to just 4 points, 42-38.

Indiana started both quarters strong, but Miami ended both strong. The Heat scored a 9-2 run to close the 1st quarter then a 16-5 run to wrap up the 2nd, according to ESPN.

Paul George had to exit the first half with several minutes of play still left after he was charged with his third foul of the game. Fans were glad to have him at all, though, after he suffered a concussion in Game 2. George was limited to "no contact" in practice on Thursday and was in danger of not playing in Saturday's game because the NBA requires all players diagnosed with a concussion to go a full 24 hours without symptoms before they are allowed to play. George was given a clean bill of health on Friday, though.

The Heat continued their comeback until they took their first lead of the night with 7:36 left in the 3rd quarter. The teams traded the lead several times over the next few minutes, but Miami held a 7 point lead by the end of the quarter, 71-64, and never trailed again.

Counting Saturday, the Heat have won their last nine post-season home games, and hope to extend that to 10 when Miami and Indiana face off again Monday.

Miami's resurgence in the series has fed analyst predictions that they will win the series. Most national media outlets picked the Heat to win in six games. However, the Pacers were able to hand the Heat what was only their second loss of the post-season by winning Game 1 of the series, and hope to tack on even more as the series continues.

The Heat now lead the series 2-1. Game 4 is set for Monday night at 8:30 p.m. in Miami. It will be aired on ESPN.
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