The night ended on a much better note than how it started. The Heat started the game giving up the first 11 points of the game to the Pacers at home (then 16-2). But they ended up with an overtime victory on in Miami, a win that splits the season series with the Pacers and creates a 2-game separation for now.
The Pacers led by as many as 14 points in the first half, including a 44-30 lead in the second quarter. But the Heat went on an 11-3 run to close that quarter. Miami then continued their momentum in the third quarter and took a 1 point lead into the fourth. There, the Heat and Pacers went back and forth. Dwyane Wade sank 2 free throws to give the Heat a late lead but Monta Ellis was fouled with less than a second left. Fortunately, he only made one free throw.
In overtime, the Heat had a good dose of Justise Winslow to help propel them to victory 101-93. It was a hard-fought, grind-it-out type of win and the Heat deserved it.
Just look at these stellar contributions in the win:
Hassan Whiteside: 19 points, 18 rebounds, 6 blocks
Luol Deng: 13 points, 16 rebounds
Justise Winslow: 15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals
Goran Dragic: 24 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists
Dwyane Wade had a terrible 4-21 shooting night but ended up with 16 points and some key plays. Josh McRoberts also added 10 points. Paul George led the Pacers with 31 points and 11 rebounds. Myles Turner really went after the Heat's small ball and had 16 points. What really hurt Indiana, on the back side of a back-to-back, was a combined 2-24 from Monta Ellis and George Hill. That's tough to overcome from a starting back court.
It was the Heat's second overtime win over the Pacers in Miami this season. Miami now improves to 32-24 and moves into a tie for 3rd in the East. Unfortunately, next up on the schedule is the recording breaking Golden State Warriors who are 50-5.
40 minutes with Winslow: Heat were plus-29.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) February 23, 2016
13 minutes without Winslow: Heat were minus-21.
The Heat's win can be attributed to a few things. First they had a +21 rebound advantage. That's something they've never really had a chance against the Pacers, but now it is a factor. It really helped them. Secondly, Justise Winslow just plays really great team basketball. He's in the right spot, makes good plays and doesn't do dumb things on offense. Despite Wade's poor shooting night, the Heat were able to come through with the win.
The Heat lost Beno Udrih in the game due to an injury and even despite that, Josh Richardson only played 9 minutes. He played 35 on Saturday night. The Heat were 2-13 from downtown, noticeably hurting without Chris Bosh, but scored and dominated with 62 points in the paint.