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Heat Vs. Pacers, NBA Playoffs 2012 Game 5: Miami Closes 1st Half Strong To Take 9-Point Lead

After an eventful first half at AmericanAirlines Arena, the Miami Heat hold a 49-40 lead over the Indiana Pacers in a critical Game 5 of their Eastern Conference Semifinals series. Miami closed out the half on a 9-2 run to take the nine-point lead into the locker room. As one would expect, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James led the Heat on the offensive end. James led all scorers with 16 points, including two big fastbreak buckets in the final minute to extend the lead. James is 7 of 11 from the floor and has also grabbed seven boards, carrying over from his incredible Game 4 performance in Indiana.

Wade's woes from the free-throw line continued in the first half, but the All-Star added 11 points. While it was Udonis Haslem who was the third party filling in on Sunday, Game 5 featured a big first half from Shane Battier. The veteran wing went three of four from behind the arc to add nine points.

The Pacers got away from their bread and butter late in the half, setting for jumpers and not taking advantage of their size on the front line with Roy Hibbert and David West. Miami will look to build off their strong closeout to the half and reclaim the series lead.

For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier and SB Nation Tampa Bay. For the opponent's perspective throughout the series, check out Indy Cornrows and SB Nation Indiana. And for all your news and notes on the playoffs matchups, visit SB Nation's dedicated NBA hub.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.