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NBA playoffs: Heat beat Pacers

Pacers guard C.J. Watson takes a shot in the lane against the Heat in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA playoffs on Saturday in Miami. The Heat won 99-87. (Robert Mayer / USA TODAY)

LeBron James collected 26 points, seven assists and four steals as Miami used a big second half to knock off visiting Indiana and take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference finals.

Ray Allen scored 13 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and hit all four of his 3-point attempts for the Heat, who host Game 4 today. Dwyane Wade added 23 points as Miami shot 54.4 percent from the field.

Paul George played after passing concussion protocols and scored 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting to lead the Pacers. Roy Hibbert added 16 points and David West scored 13 while Lance Stephenson recorded 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Wade’s 3-pointer to begin the fourth gave the Heat a 74-64 lead but the Pacers chipped away and drew within 76-74 with 8:37 left after George was fouled and a technical foul led to three straight free throws. Allen responded with a 3-pointer and buried another with 5:58 to play to give Miami an 87-79 cushion before hitting two more down the stretch to help pull away.

Indiana led 17-4 with under four minutes left in the first quarter and the advantage was 15 points midway through the second quarter before the Heat began to find their offense. Miami ended the half on a 16-5 run to cut it to 42-38 at the break and took control in the third, grabbing its first lead on James’ dunk with 7:35 remaining and going into the fourth up 71-64.