Their season was slipping away before their eyes. The gold-T-shirt-wearing fans could sense that Tuesday may be the last time they could watch their beloved Indiana Pacers in Bankers Life Fieldhouse until the fall.

The Miami Heat, the big boys on the block with only one thing on their mind, looked like they had taken control of the game in the third quarter.

But the Pacers showed some major resolve, the same kind they used all season to overcome their shortcomings and when they were doubted.

The Pacers didn’t crumble like cookies. They fought back and kept fighting, the same kind of fight they’ll need if they expect to knock off the defending league champions in this Eastern Conference finals series.

The Pacers overcame Miami’s third-quarter run and also a bad shot clock violation call in the fourth quarter to even this series with a 99-92 victory in front of a sold-out fieldhouse crowd.

The series is tied at 2-2, with Game 5 in Miami on Thursday.

“We’ve shown a great deal of resolve all year,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “This is the first chance we’ve faced adversity this playoff season. And our guys rose to the challenge to start the game and then, when Miami came and took the lead, they rose to the challenge again.”

The Pacers needed to respond after they were questioned by the coaching staff about the effort in their Game 3 loss. They came out in Game 3 and thought, just because they were playing at home and had won a game in Miami, that everything would be OK.

That doesn’t work against the Heat. Not when they want to wrap up the series quickly because the San Antonio Spurs have already earned a berth in the NBA Finals.

But this was a different Pacers team.

They came out and threw the first punch, scoring the first 11 points of the game.

The real tests for the Pacers came in the second half.

The Heat opened the third quarter by scoring 13 of the first 19 points to take a 60-54 lead.

What made the run even more depressing for the Pacers is that it wasn’t LeBron James, Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh doing damage.