INDIANAPOLIS – LeBron James scored 23 points and nearly produced his first triple double in 11 months and Dwyane Wade had 16 points Tuesday night, leading the Miami Heat to a 105-90 rout of the Indiana Pacers to become the first team in 33 years to win three straight on the road in three days.
Miami is also the first club in 42 years to win each of the three by double digits. Phoenix was the last to win three in a row on the road in consecutive days, from Dec. 21-23, 1979. Milwaukee was the last team to win all three by at least 10 from Nov. 20-22, 1970.
Plus, at 23-7, Miami has now tied the franchise's best start.
Things went so well Tuesday, that at halftime, James turned to the crowd and acted like he was reeling in a fish and during a third-quarter timeout. Mike Miller grabbed something resembling a rope from the team trainer and acted like he was going to rope a steer.
It was just that easy.
Playing their fourth road game in five nights, some thought the Heat might show sign of fatigue.
Instead, the Heat looked crisp, relaxed and ready to send a message to the rest of the league — that they can dominate every possible way.
Rookie Norris Cole matched his season-high with 20 points and James had nine points and six assists in the first 14 minutes. Wade made his first five shots and needed a little more than eight minutes to reach 10. Defensively, Miami was just as tough limiting Indiana to just 6 of 23 from the field in the first quarter and not much better until the closing minutes.
While Miami made it look easy, the Pacers played ugly.
David West led the Pacers with 14 points and Paul George had 12, not nearly enough to avoid a fourth consecutive loss. Even worse, the Pacers (17-11) lost leading scorer Danny Granger with a sprained left ankle late in the first quarter and he did not return. Granger finished with three points.
Pacers fans were hoping Indiana had something to prove Tuesday after finally getting a two-day break.
But James, Wade and their teammates never gave them a chance to amend for the 35-point loss at Miami last month.
Miami used an early 10-0 run to take a 23-9 lead less than eight minutes into the game and led 33-16 after the first quarter. The Heat extended the lead to 51-24 midway through the second quarter and led 68-39 at the half and the Pacers never got closer than 20 until less the final two minutes of the game.