Down by 15 early, the Miami Heat could have hit the panic button.
Instead, it found a way to move within two wins of another trip to the NBA Finals.
LeBron James scored 26 points, Dwyane Wade added 23, and the Heat shook off a horrid start to beat the Indiana Pacers 99-87 on Saturday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals, taking a 2-1 lead and breaking a back-and-forth trend in the rivalry. The teams had alternated wins and losses in 13 straight meetings -- until now.
Miami trailed 37-22 before outscoring Indiana 77-50 the rest of the way.
"A lot of our situations that we've been through where we've struggled have been against this team," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That's what they do to you. They're very good. It's a function of their defense.
"But we had no choice but try to regather."
That they did.
Ray Allen added 16 points and led a late-game charge for the Heat, which will host Game 4 on Monday night. And it was the second time this season the Heat rallied from 15 points down to beat the Pacers in Miami -- it also happened Dec. 18.
"Tough loss for our guys," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "Thought we competed pretty well, came out of the gates really strong, got off to a good start and then didn't manage our foul trouble well and didn't manage picking up their defensive intensity well."
It's the third straight series where the Pacers have faced a deficit.
"A ton," Vogel said when asked how much resiliency the Pacers have left. "It's very early in the series."
Paul George scored 17 points for Indiana, shooting 5 for 13 in his return after being concussed late in Game 2.
Indiana got to 76-74 before Allen made a 3-pointer, and with that, the tone was set for the final minutes. Allen made three 3s in the final 5:59, the last of those putting Miami up by 15.
"I think we need to stick to what we do," Indiana's David West said. "We got away from ourselves. We tried to make up some stuff on the fly, which is not us."
Timberwolves: Minnesota has decided it wants to bring Dave Joerger home to be its coach. Now all that stands in the way is agreeing on a contract and any possible compensation with the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Timberwolves decided on Joerger as the replacement for retired Rick Adelman after the Minnesota-born Grizzlies coach met with team leadership, including owner Glen Taylor, two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.
Joerger is still under contract for two more years in Memphis. But owner Robert Pera is believed to be considering a coaching change after firing CEO Jason Levien and director of player personnel Stu Lash. It remained unclear just how much the Timberwolves want to give to the Grizzlies for a coach many presume could be fired any day.
Spurs-Thunder: Oklahoma City defensive star Serge Ibaka said he is not sure if he will play Sunday in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against San Antonio -- he said it is up to doctors, and much will depend on how he feels in the morning.
The 6-foot-10 power forward strained his left calf in the previous playoff series, and the Thunder said it expected him to be out for the playoffs. The team changed course Friday and declared him day-to-day. He worked out Saturday but didn't practice.