The Indiana Pacers were defeated 113-95 by the Miami Heat Saturday night in what was a poor start to its five game road trip.
Paul George started the game by burying a long two-point jumper, but his night would come to an abrupt end after being ejected for receiving two technical fouls in the third quarter. More on that later though....
Dion Waiters gave the Heat its first lead after hitting a three-pointer, but C.J. Miles answered right back for Indiana sparking a 9-0 Pacers run. Indiana played great defense early on forcing Hassan Whiteside to be virtually non-existent. Whiteside didn't record a point until the 6:59 mark in the quarter, which ended the Indiana run.
Both teams shot poorly, but played great defense by getting over screens quickly and allowing few second chance opportunities throughout the games first 12 minutes.
Indiana ended the first quarter shooting just 31.8 percent from the field, but went 8-8 from the charity stripe to help give them a 23-18 lead after one. Miami was held to 38.2 percent shooting, but failed to reach the foul line.
Both teams began the second quarter by aggressively attacking the basket, but the fast pace forced sloppy play both ways. The Pacers and Heat combined for 17 first half turnovers.
2017 Slam Dunk Champion Glenn Robinson scored his first points of the game on a beautiful put-back giving Indiana a 33-27 lead with 8:45 remaining in the half. The Pacers took that momentum and continued playing with great awareness on defense after Monta Ellis recorded a steal and layup to extend the Indiana lead to 37-27.
James Johnson scored two consecutive three-pointers to keep Miami within single-digits, but the Pacers ate up the Heat from the free throw line. Indiana outscored Miami 19-8 from the charity stripe in the first half.
Miami then went on a quick 10-0 run to tie game at 46 after a Goran Dragic three-pointer, and regained the lead following a Rodney McGruder jumper from beyond-the-arc. The Pacers turned the ball over seven times in the second quarter, which helped the Heat get back into the game and take the lead.
Indiana regained the lead 54-53 after a Paul George fast-break dunk off a steal and took that one-point lead into the half.
Early in the third quarter, Paul George and Rodney McGruder received double-technicals after a light scuffle was instigated by an elbow to George's chin during a rebound. Paul George retaliated by shoving McGruder forcing the officials to immediately blow their whistles and separate the players before the situation escalated.
The game was tied at 56 after a Luke Babbitt three-pointer when this happened.
Moments later, Babbitt hit another three-pointer to extend the Heat lead to 63-58 and George received his second technical foul for complaining about not receiving a foul call on a previous jump-shot. George was then ejected from the game with 8:49 remaining in the second half. He recorded just ten points, one assist and one rebound on 3-8 shooting.
This is when things got ugly for the Pacers...
Miami continued its hot shooting after the George ejection, but C.J. Miles and Glenn Robinson both hit three-pointers to cut the Pacers deficit to 69-68 keeping Indiana within striking distance. Jeff Teague also started to play well offensively scoring eight points in the third quarter and recorded a steal that led to another Robinson three to give the Pacers the 73-71 lead with 4:22 remaining in the quarter. Teague finished the game with 16 points and six assists.
Miami's hot shooting from beyond-the-arc and Indiana's sloppy play offensively gave the Heat its biggest lead of the game after a Whiteside fast-break layup, but the Pacers cut the its deficit and trailed just 83-79 after three quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Miami extended its lead to 95-85 after a transition three-pointer by Wayne Ellington and the Pacers simply couldn't hit the shots they needed to get back into the game.
The Heat outscored the Pacers 60-41 in the second half and forced Indiana to just 40 percent shooting from the field.
Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Dion Waiters and Goran Dragic scored 22 and 21 points respectively. Myles Turner led Indiana with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Glenn Robinson III led the Pacers bench with 13 points of his own.
Miami (27-32) is on a massive tear winning 16 of its last 18 games, including nine of 10 in American Airlines Arena. The Pacers (30-29) are currently on the opposite end of that losing seven of its last eight games.
Indiana will look to turn things around when they travel to Houston to take on the Rockets Monday.