A dominating second half performance pushed the Indiana Pacers to their third straight win, topping the Miami Heat on the road. Indiana outscored the Heat 32-13 in the third quarter, doing so by not only finally hitting threes after a cold first half, but forcing turnovers and capitalizing on the live ball opportunities.
The Pacers turned things up in the second half, but also played extremely well from the get go. Myles Turner had his finger on the game from his opening shot, dominating in the pick and pop game from the free throw line extended, shooting 5-5 from that area in the first half.
It was a massive boost for the team to see Turner get involved not only early, but often. Since his return from concussion protocol, Turner had been uneven at best. While he’s had flashes in these games, he’s largely looked like an odd man out in a lineup that had thrived with Domantas Sabonis.
Since his return, Turner had averaged 12.0 points, but was doing so on just 41.6% shooting. Even his double double against the Pelicans came on just 6-16 shooting. So to see him come out scorching tonight was huge. Turner scored 13 in the first quarter and 20 in the first half en route to a season high 25.
Turner also made an impact throughout the game as well. He had seven rebounds, key in helping the Pacers win the rebounding battle and limit Hassan Whiteside to just eight boards, but had three blocks and four assists. And once again, Indiana’s formula for success was on display in regards to ball movement.
The Pacers had 33 assists in the game, their third 30-assist game of the year. Unsurprisingly, they’re now 3-0 in such games and one of just five teams in the league to have three or more 30-assist games. All five starters had multiple assists on the night, led by Darren Collison with 10 as part of his 12 point, 10 assist double double.
Despite Turner’s best efforts early, the Pacers still trailed in the second quarter by as many as six. This was in large part do a huge three point difference where Miami hit nine in the first half, led by Wayne Ellington’s four (of seven on the night), all while the Pacers could only muster up two.
Down two, however, with three seconds left in the half, Turner would give the Pacers the lead with the team’s third three of the game, but the real kicker was Thaddeus Young stealing the inbounds and hitting a jumper to go into the half up 58-55 as part of his 12 point, three steal night.
Closed the first half with a three and a hustle play pic.twitter.com/nKoPOiorvj— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) November 19, 2017
From that point, it was all Pacers. The Pacers built on the 7-0 run going into the half by dominating the Heat in the third quarter. Bojan Bogdanovic took the reigns, scoring 11 in the quarter as part of his season high 26 points. Bogdanovic hit six threes on the night, including five in the second half as the Pacers opened up their deep shooting to run away from Miami leading to the 120-95 win.
While they began to hit their threes in the third, they also got out and ran, not only off of misses, but off of turnovers too. The Pacers turned the Heat over six times in the third, leading to 11 points on a night when Indiana outscored Miami 26-11 in points off turnovers.
Victor Oladipo also reached double figures with 15 points and five rebounds while Cory Joseph had 11 points and five assists. They each had a pair of steals totaling nine for the Pacers on the night. Sabonis fell shy of a double double with eight points, but did pull in 10 rebounds, including a team high three offensive boards.
The Pacers continue to impress as the season nears its quarter mark, improving to 9-8, but have done so with a road heavy schedule. The Pacers win their third straight road game, improving to 5-5 away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It wasn’t until January 3 that the Pacers won their fifth road game of the season last year.
Indiana will have a quick turn around as they face the Orlando Magic on the road tomorrow night. Despite the success early in the season, the Pacers are still searching for their first second night of a back-to-back win, currently sitting at 0-3. Even if the Pacers lose tomorrow, their success on the road to this point has put them in a fantastic position to succeed moving forward, as they will have 17 of 24 at home starting Friday.