Heat rally to beat Pacers


MIAMI, February 9- LeBron James poured in 41 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists Tuesday as Miami rallied from a 14-point deficit to beat Indiana 117-112 in a National Basketball Association contest.

Chris Bosh added 19 points, Dwyane Wade scored 17 and Mario Chalmers 16 for the Heat, who nabbed their seventh straight victory and moved five games ahead of second-placed Atlanta in the Southeast Division.

Miami moved within one half-game of Boston — who were idle on Tuesday — for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Roy Hibbert scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who fell to 4-1 under interim coach Frank Vogel. Danny Granger scored 19 and Tyler Hansbrough added 18 for Indiana.

The Pacers were shooting better than 60 percent early in the second half, but Miami bore down on defence in the fourth.

In a span of more than six minutes in the final quarter, Indiana missed nine straight shots.

They still pulled within 111-110 with 51.9 seconds remaining, but Miami didn’t let them through.

The Heat’s Mike Miller missed a three-pointer, but Bosh grabbed the offensive rebound to extend the possession and James scored with 14.1 seconds remaining to give Miami a 113-110 lead.

James then made two free throws that maintained a three-point margin, and Eddie House made two more free throws with 6.5 left to play to seal the victory.

With the victory, the Heat avenged their worst home defeat of the season — a 93-77 Pacers decision on November 22.

"This team is scrapping and playing their hearts out for that last (playoff) spot right now," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of the Pacers. "This is a competitive conference."