LeBron James’ 41 points leads Heat past Pacers
LeBron James scored 41 points and added 13 rebounds as the Miami Heat were able to claw back from a 14 point deficit to defeat the Indiana Pacers 117-112 Tuesday night. The loss ended Indiana's four game winning streak and brought Miami within a half game of the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics.
Although the Heat got 19 points from Chris Bosh and 17 from Dwyane Wade, the night belonged to James. The two-time defending MVP put up 26 points in the first half, and went on a scoring spree in the final two minutes that closed a 66-52 Pacers lead to 66-63 heading into the locker room.
Indiana entered the fourth quarter with a seven point lead, but Miami held the Pacers to just 28 percent from the floor in the final quarter, which allowed James to go to work, and his 17-footer with 14 seconds left gave the Heat a 113-110 cushion they would not relinquish. It was the kind of performance that has many people talking about a possible third straight MVP for the former Cleveland Cavalier.
"I'll tell you what, he's playing MVP-like basketball on both ends of the court," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told The Associated Press. "He had a motor tonight that did not fatigue. It was amazing."
When James was not on the court, it was a completely different game. In a 3-minute and 35-second break he took during the first half, Miami was outscored 18-4 and lost the lead.
In his team's last 20 games, James has averaged 29.6 points while grabbing 8.6 rebounds and dishing out 7.5 assists and the Heat have been 17-3 during that stretch. The Pacers were led by several of their young stars, including Roy Hibbert, who had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Danny Granger who scored 19