Tonight at 7:30PM, the Miami Heat will host the Indiana Pacers at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, FL. This is the final of four games between the Pacers and the Heat this season, with each team winning each of the previous games at home. The Pacers won 90-87 on November 6th and 96-83 on December 11th at home, then Miami won in overtime, 103-100 on January 4th in the triple-A.
Tonight's game for the Heat is the second game of a three-game homestand. They started it out with a 114-94 win over the Washington Wizards on Saturday night, and will finish up against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
For the Pacers, this is the final game of a three-game road trip. They defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-98 on Friday night, and defeated the Orlando Magic, 105-102 last night. They'll kick off a three-game homestand after tonight's contest, with tilts against the New York Knicks, the Charlotte Hornets, and the Portland Trail Blazers.
The last time the Pacers faced the Heat was on January 4th, in Miami. The Heat took 53 minutes to earn a 103-100 victory behind a 31 point, 11 rebound effort from Chris Bosh. Dwyane Wade had 27 with eight boards and three helpers, and Goran Dragic had 13 with five rebounds and four assists. Paul George scored a game-high 32 with seven rebounds for the Pacers. Monta Ellis scored 17 with nine assists, and Jordan Hill came off the bench for 10 points and a dozen rebounds.
They're a good team. They've got two All-Stars that closed the gap. Eighteen points in the third quarter, those deficits get overcome in the NBA all the time. - Pacers coach Frank Vogel
Indy Cornrows has the goods on Indiana.
Miami's last game was a 114-94 win over the Washington Wizards. Luol Deng had 27 points with 10 rebounds. Hassan Whiteside scored 25 with 23 rebounds and two blocks, and Goran Dragic pitched in 24 with eight helpers to lead the Heat. Bradley Beal scored 19 off the bench to lead the Pacers, while Marcin Gortat had 14 with 13 boards.
Now does he have to do a 20-20 again on Monday? No, that is not what we're asking for. It's the not the statistics. It's his approach. His walk-through was fantastic and his detail and effort and focus during the course of the game was probably close to a season-high. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, talking about Whiteside's second career 20-20 game.
Bullets Forever has more on Washington.
Indiana's last game would see them defeat the Magic, 105-102 last night in Orlando. Six Pacers finished in double figures, led by Monta Ellis' 21 and Paul George's 20. Eric Fournier scored a game-high 23 points in defeat for the Magic.
For more on Florida's other team, check out Orlando Pinstriped Post.
GameTime: 7:30PM, FS Sun, FS Indiana
All-Time Head to Head: In 102 contests against the Pacers, Miami has posted a 42-60 record. Their .412 winning percentage is second-worst against any team in the Eastern Conference, just one point short of their 44-63 record against the Boston Celtics.
Miami Heat: 31-24, .564, on pace for 46-36. First in the Southeast Division, fourth in the Eastern Conference, ninth in the NBA. Last Five: W-L-L-W-W Playoff Odds: 93.5%
Indiana Pacers: 30-25, .545, on pace for 45-37. Second in the Central Division, fifth in the Eastern Conference, 10th in the NBA. Last Five: W-W-L-W-W Playoff Odds: 93.9%
Injury Report (according to cbssports.com)
Miami Heat: Dwyane Wade (knee) is a game-time decision, Chris Bosh (calf) is out until at least March 15th, and Tyler Johnson (shoulder) will not return until April 2nd.
Indiana Pacers: CJ Miles (calf) is a game-time decision, and Rodney Stuckey (ankle) is out until at least February 28th.
Probable Starting Lineups (and primary subs)
PG - Goran Dragic (Beno Udrih)
SG - Dwyane Wade (Gerald Green)
C - Amar'e Stoudemire (Hassan Whiteside)
SF - Luol Deng (Justise Winslow)
PF - Justise Winslow (Udonis Haslem)
PG - George Hill (Joseph Young)
SG - Monta Ellis (Glenn Robinson)
C - Ian Mahinmi (Jordan Hill)
SF - Paul George (CJ Miles)
PF - Myles Turner (Lavoy Allen)
Chris Bosh is on the edge of a lot of milestones, but he won't reach any tonight. Hassan Whiteside will become the 24th Heat player with at least 1,000 rebounds with his first board. He currently tops Miami's all-time leaderboard by averaging 10.6 rebounds per game, topping Rony Seikaly's 10.4 and Kevin Willis' 10.0. Whiteside will pass PJ Brown into seventh all-time in blocks with six, bringing him to 306.
Udonis Haslem needs two helpers to tie Dan Majerle in 16th all-time at 717 assists. His next block will move him alone into ninth all-time, breaking his tie at 246 with Eddie Jones.
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