NBA: Heat come out firing to beat Pacers

The NBA champions Miami Heat bounced back with a vengeance Sunday, racing to an early lead and rolling to a 114-96 victory over Indiana in game three of the Eastern Conference finals.

Miami, stung by a game-two defeat on their home floor on Friday, struck back to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The winner will advance to the NBA finals to take on either San Antonio or Memphis for the league crown.

NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James led the Heat with 22 points. He scored 18 in the first half as Miami, connecting on 63 percent of their shots from the floor, jumped into a 70-56 lead at the break.

All five Miami starters scored in double figures. Dwyane Wade added 18 and eight assists and Udonis Haslem, who had scored just three points in the first two games of the series, added 17 and seven rebounds.

Chris Bosh scored 15 and Mario Chalmers poured in 14 as the Heat remained unbeaten on the road in this post-season and handed the Pacers their first home defeat of this playoff campaign. The Pacers will try to even the series when they host game four on Tuesday.

After a game two defeat in which their 15 turnovers included two by James in the final minute, the Heat committed a club playoff-low five turnovers.

Roy Hibbert had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Pacers. David West notched 21 points and 10 rebounds in the defeat, while Paul George had 13 points on just 3-of-10 shooting to go with eight assists.