INDIANAPOLIS, May 24 (UPI) -- A huge game from Dwyane Wade brought Miami back from an early deficit Thursday and the Heat rolled into the conference finals by downing Indiana 105-93.
Miami eliminated the Pacers in six games, winning the last three in a bitter series that saw two members of the Heat suspended for Thursday's contest.
Wade took almost a third of the Miami's 76 shots from the field and consistently attacked the basket while scoring 41 points. He hit 17-of-25 shots and pulled down 10 rebounds.
His performance gave Miami a chance to win its second straight Eastern Conference title. The Heat will take on the winner of the Boston-Philadelphia series in the conference finals.
Indiana took a 13-3 lead in a bid to force the series to seven games, but Miami caught up early in the second quarter and took control by scoring the final eight points of the third period for a 79-69 lead.
LeBron James added 28 points for the Heat and Mario Chalmers had 15. Miami knocked out the Pacers without the services of Chris Bosh, who is lost indefinitely with an abdominal strain suffered in the opening game of the series.
Miami also played without Dexter Pittman and Udonis Haslem, both of whom were suspended for committing flagrant fouls in the fifth game of the series Tuesday. Pittman will have to sit out the first two games of the Eastern Conference finals.
Miami will learn its conference finals opponent Friday when the 76ers and Celtics meet in the seventh game of their series.
The Spurs will take on Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals beginning Sunday in San Antonio. The Spurs have won all eight of their playoff games and have captured 18 in a row overall.
The San Antonio-Oklahoma City winner will have home-court advantage in the NBA finals since those teams had the two best regular-season records among the teams remaining in the playoffs.
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