LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Jimmy Butler scored 27 points and the Miami Heat held off a furious rally to beat the Indiana Pacers 124-115 on Saturday to take a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference playoff series.
Goran Dragic added 24 points, Bam Adebayo had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Tyler Herro scored 20 points for the Heat. They plan to close out the first-round series Monday.
“We’re never going into any game thinking that we’re going to lose,” Butler said. “We want to win. We know what we’re capable of."
Malcolm Brogdon set career playoff highs with 34 points and 14 assists for the Pacers. T.J. Warren scored 23 points, and Victor Oladipo added 20.
Now, the Pacers are on the brink of elimination.
“We know what Game 4 is about," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “We’re down 3-0. It’s win or go home. As I told our guys, you’re not dead. We’re not dead. We showed this second half what we’re capable of doing, but we’ve got to put together that type of intensity, that type of belief for 48 minutes.”
Dragic spun through the Pacers and made a layup as time expired in the second quarter to put the Heat up 74-56. The Heat made 11 3-pointers in the highest-scoring half in franchise playoff history.
“Just not playing hard enough, not executing, not being physical enough on defensive end," Brogdon said.