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Big Two rise up for Heat; James, Wade erase double-digit deficit

The Miami Heat were being cut down to size, their championship visions nearly extinguished, the deficit was in double digits.

LeBron James would have none of it.

Neither would Dwyane Wade.

In a stunning display of the power of two, James and Wade essentially self-willed the Heat back to life in the second half of what turned into a 101-93 victory Sunday over the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

"You get the ball out of one of those guy's hands and it gets to the other guy's," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of his tag-team midday nightmare. "It's not like one superhero and a bunch of role guys."

Instead of being down 3-1 in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series, a place where scant few have recovered, the Heat return for Tuesday's Game Five at AmericanAirlines Arena tied 2-2, home-court advantage regained.

"We wanted to redeem ourselves," James said, the Heat having dropped the previous two games.

"Beautiful basketball," Wade said.

For a while there in the third quarter, simply stunning.

"In the third quarter, it was just too much," Pacers forward Danny Granger said.

Based on how the previous two games had gone, and to a degree even where things stood at halftime, it was difficult to say which performance was more impressive:

James: 40 points, 18 rebounds, nine assists, two blocked shots, two steals.

Wade: 30 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocked shots, one steal.

"Both of those guys knew they had to be actively involved," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

James had 19 points at the intermission, when the Heat trailed 54-46. He was keeping them afloat.

Wade, by contrast, had opened 1 of 8, rekindling fears of a follow-up to his 2-of-13 performance in the Heat's Game Three loss.

But then the two did something they had not done much of this series, or to be honest, all that often in their two years as a dual-wing threat:

They choreographed something magical, playing in a lockstep so desperately needed with power forward Chris Bosh, the absentee of the Big Three, out indefinitely since sustaining a lower-abdominal strain in the first half of the series opener.

"Obviously, we've come a long way with that," Spoelstra said. "We used to be a stand-and-watch-each-other team with those two guys."

How utterly dominant were James and Wade?

They scored 38 consecutive points bridging the second and third periods, scoring all but two of the Heat's 30 third-quarter points, with 14 apiece in the period.

In fact, when power forward Udonis Haslem, playing with a bandage to cover a nasty gash above his right eye, converted a jumper with 5:51 to play, it was the Heat's first basket from a player other than James or Wade since center Joel Anthony scored with 6:39 to play in the second period.

The Heat entered aware that only eight teams have overcome 3-1 deficits in best-of-seven playoff series, none since 2006.