By NICK BECKER-GILBERT and JACK LAUERABERTO | Updated May 13, 2019 12:03:55The Miami Heat have won six consecutive games to start the season and they look to continue their dominance in the Eastern Conference with an overtime victory on Friday night at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami (46-12) opened the season with a 109-98 victory at Detroit on Monday and then cruised to a 99-96 victory at Brooklyn on Friday.
LeBron James scored 27 points in his fourth game back from an ankle injury, while Dwyane Wade added 24 and Luol Deng added 18.
The Heat, who have won seven of their last nine and are a plus-18 in the final three games of a six-game road trip, hold a 2 1/2-game lead in the conference standings.
“We know how important we are,” James said.
“We are playing well defensively, and we are playing together.
Everybody is really clicking, and that’s why we are still winning games.”
Wade scored 18 points and 12 rebounds in his first game back since Feb. 24 and Deng added 16 and 10 rebounds in a 112-105 win over the Indiana Pacers on March 25.
Wade and Deng combined for 44 points and six rebounds in the Pacers’ 107-101 win in Indianapolis on Friday and both Deng and Wade are averaging 15.7 points in the last five games.
Deng, who scored a season-high 35 points on Saturday against the Heat, is averaging 15 in his last seven games.
Miami will try to avoid a season high-tying five-game losing streak to begin the season.
“It’s not easy, especially against a team like that,” Wade said.
“[Indiana] has some good guards that can really get to you.
They have some good scorers on their roster.
We just have to find a way to win those games.”
The Heat are 3-1 when Wade scores at least 20 points and 1-0 when he’s at least 15.
Wade also scored 17 points against the Pacers.
James and Deng are the only Heat to have scored 20 or more points in three consecutive games.
The last time Miami scored 20-plus points in consecutive games was Feb. 23-26, 2015, when the Heat led by 16 in the fourth quarter of a 113-94 win over Washington.
Miami led by 13 at halftime.
The Pacers outscored Miami 45-31 in the first quarter.
The Miami-Indiana series has not gone to overtime since 2012-13.
Indiana (32-25) is in its eighth consecutive season without an opponent scoring at least 100 points, but its offense has been much improved since its loss to Miami on Feb. 26.
The Hoosiers have averaged 94.6 points in their last eight games.
Indiana is 4-1 in the three games against Miami this season.
The Heat have lost eight straight at home.
Miami will be without starting guard Jose Calderon (knee) and reserve guard Mario Chalmers (right knee sprain) for a fourth straight game.
The only other time Miami had two players leave in a game was March 7-10, 2014 when Calderon left to join the Pacers on a one-day contract.
Calderon has missed six of the last seven home games.
Miami is 9-4 when scoring at or better than 95 points.
It is 2-1 on the road.
The first game of a three-game homestand against Boston on Saturday is at 1 p.m.
The Heat return to Miami for a four-game home stand on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons.