Monday , May , 10 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

The Heat is on Miami

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – The Indiana Pacers try to take a commanding 3-0 lead in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series tonight, as they visit the Miami Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Game 4 is scheduled for Wednesday in Miami.

The Heat is on Miami

The Pacers, who won Game 1 94-81, defeated the Heat 91-80 on Saturday in Game 2. Indiana became the first team in NBA history to open the playoffs with double-digit wins in six straight games as it swept Boston in the first round by an average margin of more than 16 points.

In Game 2, Ron Artest scored 20 points and Reggie Miller added 19, as the Pacers took a 2-0 series lead over the Heat. All-Star Jermaine O’Neal added 17 points and nine rebounds for Indiana.

Artest, who was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has averaged 22.5 points five rebounds and 4.5 assists in the first two games of the series, while O’Neal has chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds per game against the Heat.

Miami, which has won all four of its home games against New Orleans in the first round, was led by Lamar Odom and rookie Dwyane Wade in Saturday’s loss. Odom and Wade finished with 19 points apiece. The Heat have won six of their last 10 playoff games as the host.

The last time the Heat hosted a conference semifinal game was on May 21, 2000 against New York. The Heat lost 83-82 in Game 7 of their series with the Knicks and were eliminated from the postseason.

The Heat are 4-8 all-time in Game 3s in the postseason, while the Pacers have lost four of their last 6 game 3s in the playoffs.

The Pacers have won 11 in a row over Miami, which last picked up a win over Indiana on January 19, 2002. Indiana is 4-6 in its last 10 playoff games on the road.

Miami is appearing in the conference semis for the first time since 2000, when it fell in seven games to New York. The Heat are 1-1 all-time in the Eastern semifinals.

05/10 13:30:36 ET

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