The Miami Heat opened their season with a loss to the Magic, but had the chance to open up at home with a win. But they would have to do without Hassan Whiteside who sat due to a knee injury. Jordan Mickey started in his place and it didn’t seem to matter.
I’m sure the Heat missed Whiteside, but they played just fine against the Pacers who were also without their center, Myles Turner.
The Heat were down after one to the Pacers as Indiana was effective with Domatas Sabonis and Thaddeous Young on the inside. But, the second quarter set the pace for the rest of the game.
The Heat quickly tied it up and then took a lead and expanded it. Miami outscored the Pacers 37-19 in the second fueled by great play from Kelly Olynyk who had ten points, stretched the floor and took a couple charges. He helped Sabonis pick up his 4th foul in the half, and he sat. When that happened, Miami went up double digits.
From there, they didn’t look back. The Heat scored a 21 point lead in the 3rd quarter and kept a healthy distance the rest of the way. Everybody was contributing. Miami showed why their second unit is so effective, they lose no scoring punch when they bring in Tyler Johnson.
Indiana played much better in the 4th and Miami was a bit confused at times, but they were able to hang out for the win and that’s all that matters. The Pacers battled and battled to make this a game and they did at the end. Indiana cut it all the way down to 2 points with 12 seconds left, but the Heat made their free throws and got the final stop for the win.
The highlight of the night was James Johnson, who has been on a mission to dunk on people, did just that to Pacers’ guard Victor Oladipo. Check it out.
Statement. Made. pic.twitter.com/ErImBA1Fyh— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 22, 2017
The Heat played a 9-man rotation even without Whiteside and Bam Adebayo was not one of them. That may also speak to the opponent, the Pacers didn’t play particularly big, but still — not a great sign for your lottery pick.
Goran Dragic led the way with 23 points, followed by 19 from Dion Waiters. All Heat played scored at least 6 points and Josh Richardson played a team-high 38 minutes.
The Heat host the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. They are now 1-1 on the season.