Pacers hold off Heat's charge and even series

This is not the first time the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers have been tied 2-2 in a playoff series. Just last year, in the Eastern Conference semifinals, the teams were deadlocked heading into a Game 5 in Miami.

Somehow, though, after the Pacers' 99-92 win Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse effectively turned the East finals into a three-game series, there's a far different feel than there was in 2012. On both sides of this growing rivalry, the intensity has been heightened."It was, like this whole series has been, just great play after great play after great play," Pacers Coach Frank Vogel said. Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra said simply, "It's playoff competition at its best." For the Pacers to advance to the finals against the San Antonio Spurs, at some point they'll have to hang a losing streak on the Heat. Miami hasn't lost consecutive games since early January.

If LeBron James was under enormous pressure to win his first championship last season, the expectations for him and his team have only swelled. A 53-8 record since Jan. 10 will do that. "We were able to come here and get home court," James said, a reference to the Heat's 114-96 victory in Game 3. "We feel good about that. It's a three-game series now, with two on our home floor if needed. We look forward to Game 5."A year ago in Game 4, the Pacers raced to an early lead but ultimately lost the game as James and Dwyane Wade combined for 70 points and 27 rebounds. On Tuesday, the Pacers jumped out to an 11-0 edge, and this time they protected their home court in eye-opening fashion. They outrebounded the Heat, 49-30, limited James in the post-up game and finished down the stretch as the team with better composure.

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