Indianapolis, IN (Sporting Alert) — Dwayne Wade is expected to be fit to start for the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday night.
The series is locked at 1-1.
Wade, who scored 14 points and six rebounds in Friday night’s 93-97 defeat in Miami, was listed as day-to-day with a knee problem, but he is expected to start.
The league also assessed a flagrant foul called on Wade for an elbow incident in Game 2 and he will not be suspended.
Meanwhile, LeBron James, who turned the ball over five times during the Game 2 defeat, including two in the last minute, will look to bounce back from that performance.
“I am very disappointed in my judgment and my plays down the stretch,” a disappointed James said. “But I’ll make up for them.”
James, who collected 36 points on 14-of-20 shooting and eight rebounds in the loss, also added that the team will not be dwelling too much on the recent defeat.
“We just stay even-keeled,” the star forward said. “We don’t get too high, we don’t get too low in the series.
“We know we’re going to go into a hostile environment against a very good team, and we look forward to the challenge.”
Miami’s defeat handed the Pacers home court advantage, but Indiana’s Paul George knows the hosts must brace for a tough two games.
He knows the Heat will be gunning to take action and get at least a split on the road.
“It’s even. It’s 1-1. They have the possibility of a split as well and taking home-court advantage back,” George said.
“So it’s even. We don’t feel like they’ve got the upper hand on us. We don’t feel like we’ve got the upper hand on them.”
George also talked up the likes of Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Lance Stephenson and David West.
“Take nothing away from their `Big Three’ and what they have going,” George said, in reference to James, Bosh and Wade. “But we’ll take a `Big Five’ any day.
“And that’s what we have. We have a `Big Five’ where we have guys who can make plays and we don’t lean on one guy. It’s a team contribution and that’s how we play the game.”
After the Game 1 defeat Pacers coach Frank Vogel said he saw confidence in his team and backed them to bounce back.
And Vogel continues to see that belief.
“This whole team is showing great desire and great heart and great belief,” he said. “And that’s the only way to put what these guys are doing right now, is they believe we can win this series, and they’re giving it all their might.
“All their might. And they’re playing with confidence and they are rising to the challenge. I’m very, very proud of them. We still have a lot of work to do. We all understand that.”
The ‘Big Three’ Wade, James and Chris Bosh have been pulling their weight in the series, but will need help from their teammates, especially from Norris Cole, Udonis Haslem, Shane Battier and Ray Allen, who have combined to average just 10.5 PPG on 6-37 shooting from the field through the opening 2 games of the finals.
Meanwhile, starting point guard Mario Chalmers said he expects to be good to go on Sunday, despite a shoulder problem.