We study the growth of the explosion energy after shock revival in neutrino-driven explosions in two and three dimensions (2D/3D) using multi-group neutrino hydrodynamics simulations of an 11.2 M⊙ star. The 3D model shows a faster and steadier growth of the explosion energy and already shows signs of subsiding accretion after one second. By contrast, the growth of the explosion energy in 2D is unsteady, and accretion lasts for several seconds as confirmed by additional long-time simulations of stars of similar masses. Appreciable explosion energies can still be reached, albeit at the expense of rather high neutron star masses. In 2D, the binding energy at the gain radius is larger because the strong excitation of downward-propagating g modes removes energy from the freshly accreted material in the downflows. Consequently, the mass outflow rate is considerably lower in 2D than in 3D. This is only partially compensated by additional heating by outward-propagating acoustic waves in 2D. Moreover, the mass outflow rate in 2D is reduced because much of the neutrino energy deposition occurs in downflows or bubbles confined by secondary shocks without driving outflows. Episodic constriction of outflows and vertical mixing of colder shocked material and hot, neutrino-heated ejecta due to Rayleigh–Taylor instability further hamper the growth of the explosion energy in 2D. Further simulations will be necessary to determine whether these effects are generic over a wider range of supernova progenitors.