INDIANAPOLIS — LeBron James scored 22 points and the Miami Heat rediscovered their offensive punch, routing the Indiana Pacers 114-96 on Sunday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.
James got plenty of help as the Heat reclaimed the home-court advantage they lost two nights earlier.
Dwyane Wade had 18 points, and Udonis Haslem added 17.
David West led Indiana with 21 points, and Roy Hibbert had 20 points and 17 rebounds. The Pacers lost for the first time at home in the playoffs this season, dropping to 6-1.
Game 4 is Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
Prior to the game, it wasn’t clear if the Heat would have Wade in the lineup.
NBA officials decided Sunday that his forearm shot to Lance Stephenson in Game 2 was a flagrant foul –just not enough of a shot to warrant a suspension.
Neither Pacers coach Frank Vogel nor Heat coach Erik Spoelstra expected the league to hand down a suspension with a berth in the NBA Finals at stake. Wade explained to reporters before the game that he was not surprised by the decision.
“I wasn’t worried because it wasn’t intentional,” he said. “All I was trying to do was get out of the way of him trying to set a screen.”
The play occurred in the fourth quarter of Indiana’s victory when Stephenson was running down the court on a fast-break. Wade jumped into the air and hit Stephenson in the back of the head with his arm, knocking Stephenson to the floor. No foul was called on the play.
Spoelstra didn’t complain about the decision.
“We take it for what it is, we can’t control what the league decides,” he said. “We just have to move on.”