Heat fight off fatigue, Pacers to hold on for 114-106 win
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 11, 2018 11:02 AM
Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) shoots over Indiana Pacers center Domantas Sabonis (11) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
By Michael Marot, Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Goran Dragic scored 20 points and Wayne Ellington made the decisive three-pointer with 23.2 seconds left Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time), helping Miami fend off Indiana’s late push for a 114-106 victory.
It’s the sixth straight win for the Heat. Miami also ended a 10-game road losing streak against the Pacers.
Victor Oladipo scored 26 points and Lance Stephenson provided a late boost of energy that nearly allowed Indiana to erase a 10-point deficit in the final 9:57. Stephenson wound up with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
But when Ellington’s three bounced in rather than rolling off the rim as it appeared it would, Indiana’s comeback hopes were over. Ellington was one of three Miami players with 15 points.
Hassan Whiteside had 16 points and 15 rebounds to help snap the Pacers’ two-game winning streak.
It sure wasn’t easy with an eight-man rotation and the Heat playing on the road for the second time in two nights. Fatigue never really became a factor, though.
The Heat dominated early, led by double digits most of the night and finished the game on a 12-5 spurt after Indiana had closed to 102-101.
Miami led 38-26 after the first quarter and extended the margin to as much as 15 before Indiana got within 58-47 at the half.
The Pacers charged back in the third quarter by scoring 11 straight points to make it 65-63 and even had a chance to tie it, or take the lead, until Al Jefferson was called for an offensive foul with 2:37 left.
The Heat fought back to make it 84-78 after three and made it 90-80 on Bam Adebayo’s basket early in the fourth.
That’s when the Pacers turned it on.
They scored six straight to cut the deficit to 92-89 and then used another 6-0 spurt to finally tie it at 97 on Stephenson’s 18-footer with 5:08 to go.
Miami broke the tie on Tyler Johnson’s triple and pulled away in the final 2.5 minutes to hold on.
Heat: Adebayo and Johnson each had 15 points. Dragic wound up with nine assists. ... Miami has won 13 consecutive games in January, dating to last season. It’s the longest active streak in the league. ... The home team had won 18 of the previous 20 regular-season games. ... James Johnson missed the game while serving a one-game suspension for throwing punches in Tuesday night’s win at Toronto. Four players sat out with injuries.
Pacers: Missed their first 10 three's and wound up 1-of-18 from beyond the arc. ... Indiana also went 19-of-29 from the free-throw line. ... Oladipo also had seven rebounds and four assists. ... Domantas Sabonis had 18 points and seven rebounds after replacing Myles Turner in the starting lineup. ... Turner is expected to miss at least two games with an injured right elbow.
Heat: Return home to face Milwaukee on Sunday (Monday, PHL time).
Pacers: Are seeking their third straight win against Cleveland this season when the Cavaliers come to town Friday (Saturday, PHL time).