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Sports
Miami Heat slip past Indiana Pacers in OT
2016-02-23
NEWS_IMG
The Indiana Pacers' starting backcourt shot a combined 2-for-24
The Indiana Pacers' starting backcourt shot a combined 2-for-24 from the field Monday, and one of those guards, Monta Ellis, missed the game's most crucial free throw.The Miami Heat took advantage of the Pacers' misfires to score a 101-93 overtime win at AmericanAirlines Arena.The Heat (32-24) split the four-game season series with the Pacers (30-26) as the teams battle for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Miami is fourth in the East; Indiana is fifth.The Pacers missed their first six shots in overtime.Meanwhile, Miami point guard Goran Dragic scored five of his team-high 24 points in the extra session. He also finished with eight rebounds and five assists."It looked like Goran had the most energy in overtime," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He was relentless. It felt like he was stronger as the game was going on."Heat center Hassan Whiteside came off the bench to provide 19 points and 18 rebounds.Indiana's star was forward Paul George, who had 31 points and 11 rebounds, his 12th double-double of the season. He is averaging more than 30 points in four games against Miami this season.The Pacers could have won the game when Ellis was fouled by Heat guard Dwyane Wade with 0.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter. With Indiana trailing 88-87, Ellis missed the first free throw before making the second, sending the game to overtime.Ellis finished 2-for-17 from the floor. Indiana point guard George Hill, who played despite a sprained elbow, was held to one point and missed all seven of his field-goal attempts.Wade, who scored 16 points on 4-of-21 shooting, made two free throws with 4.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter to put Miami in position to win in regulation."These two teams are evenly matched," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We have great history with the Heat. It's fun for the fans. It's just tough to come out on the losing end."Whiteside, who nearly had his second straight 20-20 game in points and rebounds, surpassed 1,000 rebounds for his career. He is the fastest player in Heat history to reach that milestone, accomplishing the feat in 95 games. Retired center Alonzo Mourning did it in 96 games.Heat forward Luol Deng dislocated his right middle finger but still managed 13 points and a season-best 16 rebounds -- his third consecutive double-double.The hard work inside by Whiteside and Deng and the drives by Dragic helped the Heat accumulate 62 points in the paint."We're just going to keep pounding you in the paint," Whiteside said. "That's the way we want to play."Vogel said he also noticed that the Heat are attacking more of late."They are not shooting threes," Vogel said of Miami, which made just two of 13 attempts from beyond the arc. "They are cutting, driving and slashing at all positions."Indiana got off to a great start in the first quarter, building 11-0 and 16-2 leads. However, Miami kept with its game plan of attacking inside."You didn't feel any sense of panic," Spoelstra said. "Guys were just disappointed we were playing so poorly."Give Indiana credit. We have them rated as a top-five defense, not just in steals but positionally. We knew this was going to be a tough game that we would have to grind out."