The Washington Post

Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat make Pacers coach Frank Vogel a believer in series-clinching win

Dwyane Wade and the Heat were simply a cut above Indiana. (Darron Cummings/AP)

Neither do the Heat.

It’s funny how winning a series can turn utter panic into business as usual in the NBA, but after Wade’s scoring explosion helped the Heat finish off the Pacers with Thursday’s 105-93 Game 6 win, Miami is suddenly back in the title conversation.

Three games removed from his miserable five-point effort in Game 3, Wade poured in 41 and LeBron James added 28 as the two healthy members of Miami’s “Big 3” combined for 60-plus points for the third time in six games.

“In the regular season, we’ve had some good games,” Wade said. “But I don’t know if we’ve ever had three in a row like that in the playoffs.”

Miami shot nearly 54 percent from the field and committed only nine turnovers — two statistics that helped them make up for a minus-11 rebounding margin. And while the Heat got only five points from the center and power forward positions, Wade and James attacked the basket all night as Miami piled up 38 points in the paint.

Wade and James dictated the flow of the game as they did in Game 5, once again showing they are fully capable of winning without the still-injured Chris Bosh or any production from their post players.

The swiftness with which the Heat overcame Indiana’s 2-1 series lead left Pacers coach Frank Vogel believing they could be primed for a title run.

“Ever since Game 3, they’ve played at such a high level,” Vogel said. “I don’t know if anybody can beat them.”

The Heat await the winner of Saturday’s Game 7 between Philadelphia and Boston.

More from Washington Post Sports:

Udonis Haslem suspended for Game 6, James is here to play ball

Larry Bird hits as hard as Dexter Pittman. Or Udonis Haslem.

Jason Reid: Still waiting to see if James has heart of a champion

Dwayne Wade struggles, erupts at Erik Spoelstra

Matt Brooks is the high school sports editor for The Washington Post. He's an Arlington native and longtime District resident and was previously a high school sports reporter, editor for several blogs and Early Lead contributor with The Post.


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