There will be at least one more game this season at AmericanAirlines Arena.
And based on the groove LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have found, perhaps plenty more.
Not required for 70 total points this time, as they were in Sunday’s Game 4 victory, James and Wade were every bit as dynamic in Tuesday night’s 115-83 Game 5 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers.
It was the Heat’s first wire-to-wire win of this postseason, with their .614 shooting percentage their highest ever in the postseason.
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“They kicked our butts, clearly,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.
With James scoring 30 and Wade 28, the Miami Heat moved to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series that continues Thursday at 8 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“We learned early in this series you don’t get two wins for a blowout,” Vogel said, of what turned into the third-largest playoff victory in the Heat’s 24 seasons.
A Game 7, if necessary, would be back at AmericanAirlines Arena at 8 p.m. Saturday. That also could be the potential opening night of the Eastern Conference finals, if the Heat win Thursday in Indiana and the Boston Celtics finish off the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night in Philadelphia in Game 6 of that series.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, of course, is only looking at Thursday night.
“This is our challenge right now, to leave it behind us,” Spoelstra said of the magnitude of Tuesday’s rout, “and really commit to keep this edge.”
It’s a heck of an edge, with the Heat outscoring the Pacers 66-43 in the second half.
Playing at a pace that minimized the advantage the Pacers held in the power rotation with center Roy Hibbert and power forward David West, the Heat got plenty of thrill-show theatrics from James and Wade on the fastbreak, with Wade clearly having regained the legs he lacked at the start of this series. The Heat outscored the Pacers 22-2 on fast breaks, while limiting them to .337 shooting.
“That’s a big key for us, when we’re able to make stops and get out on transition,” Wade said.
But this wasn’t only James and Wade, and there therefore was no need for James to repeat Sunday’s 40-point performance or for Wade to come up with something similar.
Instead, it was fill-in power forward Shane Battier, who again started in place of sidelined Chris Bosh, converting three first-quarter 3-pointers to set the tone, after entering 2 of 12 on 3-pointers in the series. He closed with 13 points.
And it was point guard Mario Chalmers going for a career-high 11 rebounds to further offset Indiana’s inside advantage, with the Heat finishing with a 49-35 rebound edge. His previous high, playoffs or regular season, had been seven.
Factor in energy off the bench from center Joel Anthony and guard Norris Cole and the Heat improved to 4-1 at home against the Pacers this season.
“When we defend and rebound we’re a good team and it allows us to get into our break,” James said.
While Game 7 of this series would be Saturday, there also is a chance the Heat get the weekend off, if the Celtics lose Wednesday and the Heat win Thursday in Indianapolis.