dwyane wade

Dwyane Wade lashed out in frustration during the worst playoff game of his career.

His target wasn’t wearing an Indiana uniform. Wade confronted his coach as the Miami Heat melted.

The star had an animated exchange with Erik Spoelstra on the sideline in the third quarter, a disturbing low point on a night when nothing went Miami’s way, and the Heat were throttled 94-75 by the Pacers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

Indiana center Roy Hibbert had 19 points and 18 rebounds, George Hill scored 20 and Danny Granger 17 as Indiana, pushed by a crowd that stood and chanted ”Beat The Heat” at every opportunity, took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Game 4 is Sunday at raucous Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Before then, the Heat need to locate their missing shooting touch and figure out how to attack Indiana’s superior defense. More than anything, Wade needs to shake off a startling 5-point, 2-of-13 shooting performance he made worse by challenging Spoelstra…

James scored 22 - 16 in the first half before wearing down - and Mario Chalmers made up for Wade’s abysmal night by adding 25 for Miami, which again played without All-Star forward Chris Bosh, who is out with a strained abdominal muscle and is not expected to return for this series…

Indiana outscored Miami 51-32 in the second half, when the Pacers could do no wrong.

– Reported by Tom Withers of the Associated Press

“Obviously I’ll go back to the film and look at it,” Wade said of his performance. “I missed some shots early, then missed some shots later. I’ve got to be a little more aggressive. Give them some credit. They did a good job when I got to the basket.”

As for James? The heavy lifting of the series’ first two games and then the first half of this one seemingly exacted too much of a toll. He scored 11 of his 22 points in the first quarter.

“We’re not scoring the ball,” James said after the Heat shot .372 from the field and 4 of 20 on 3-pointers. “This is the result of us not making as much shots as we’re accustomed to make.”

In other words, there is plenty of reason for Vogel’s optimism.

“I’ve seen it coming from the first day of training camp,” he said. “This is who we’ve been all year. We’re a balanced team . . . not two guys trying to create all the time.”

– Reported by Ira Winderman of theĀ South Florida Sun-Sentinel

George Hill led the way with 20 points, while Roy Hibbert had 19 and Danny Granger added 17. Hibbert also grabbed a game-high 18 boards.

Mario Chalmers had 25 to lead the Heat, while MVP LeBron James added 22. Heat All-Star guard Dwyane Wade was held scoreless in the first half, the first time that happened in 95 career playoff games. He wasn’t much better the rest of the way, and he finished with only five points.

The Heat struggled from the floor all evening, shooting just 37 percent from the field. Indiana shot 43 percent, including 57 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.

– Reported by Zak Keefer of theĀ Indianapolis Star