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LeBron James’ 41 points leads Heat past Pacers

by Derrick Johnson on February 9, 2011

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 

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