The Indiana Pacers played their closest Orlando Summer League game yet, needing solid all around play to keep the Miami Heat at bay for the 84-74 victory. The Pacers had their best start of the Summer League today, securing a 16-13 first quarter win over the Heat.
Turnovers proved to be a bit of an issue for the Pacers, especially when compared to the rate Miami was turning the ball over. It allowed the Heat to remain alive in a game the Pacers otherwise sat in control of. That and lack of three point shooting for the Pacers kept Miami in striking distance all day. When Indiana appeared ready to blow the game open, the Heat responded.
Indiana managed to win the second quarter as well when they closed the half on an 8-2 run to give them a 38-34 advantage heading into the break. The Pacers finally broke out of their three point funk halfway through the third quarter thanks to James Nunnelly, who put in three straight to put them up seven. But once again, the Heat managed to close the gap, closing to within a single point heading into the fourth.
Once in the final quarter, the Pacers scored six straight to open, putting some distance the Heat would be chasing the rest of the quarter. Indiana would go on to win the fourth and the game to secure seven points in the Summer League's final "regular season" game. The win puts Indiana at 21 points total, but it won't be enough to put them in the championship game that will be between Memphis and Philadelphia.
Indiana once again got a big double double performance from Kevin Jones, who had 16 points and 15 rebounds as the Pacers blitzed Miami on the glass at 44-26. The rebounding advantage helped overcome Indiana's 20 turnovers, while the Heat had just eight on the game. Indiana's defense allowed plenty of easy buckets, but still did a solid job holding the Heat to just 36% shooting.
James Nunnelly broke Indiana out of their three point funk in the third quarter as part of his game high 19 points on 7-11 shooting, 3-5 from three point range. He was one of four Pacers in double figures as Dequan Jones pitched in with 12 and Arinze Onuaku had 10 points and seven boards off the bench. After Willie Reed's impressive first two games, he's come back to earth in a big way, scoring just seven points on 1-4 shooting with five boards.
Dee Bost had his best game, playing 32 minutes in a starting role, scoring eight points and dishing a game high seven assists. While turnovers were a problem, no one in particular had a especially bad game with Bost and Jake Odum each picking up three turnovers on the day.
Indiana improves to 3-1 in Summer League play, a mild surprise given how poorly the looked on the first day of action against Brooklyn. They'll have one more game tomorrow, the 3rd place game in a rematch (I assume) against the Boston Celtics. With Memphis and Houston wrapping up play, tomorrow's championship schedule has not been released yet.