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Heat lose to Pacers 99-91, fourth loss in last five games

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J-Rich did his best to keep Miami in the game but couldn’t prevent another road loss.

NBA: Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Richardson scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and scored a game-high 28 points but it wasn’t enough to keep the Miami Heat from losing their fourth game out of their last five contests with a 99-91 setback against the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

Miami started well enough, holding Indiana to 18 points in the first quarter but then proceeded to score just 16 points in the second quarter and allowed twice as many points, including a streak of 16 consecutive points. They played catch-up the rest of the way, with Tyreke Evans coming off the bench to torch the Heat with five 3-pointers to notch 23 points in 25 minutes.

Coming through with another strong performance, Hassan Whiteside scored 12 points but most impressively grabbed 17 rebounds — including eight offensive rebounds. Unfortunately there was little else to get excited about, including a substandard performance from Goran Dragic, with just eight points and three assists after scoring 43 points in his last two games, and from the reserves with just 27 total points on a combined 9-35 shooting (which includes a 0-7 stinker from a scoreless Kelly Olynyk).

In contrast, the Pacers reserves helped carry the team to victory in spite of a poor shooting night from All-Star Victor Oladipo, who was held to just eight points on 3-12 shooting. Three of the four bench players who entered the game scored in double-figures and they combined to contribute 53 of Indiana’s 99 points.

In fact, it’s almost surprising the score was as close as it was given the fact that the Heat shot just 37.6% from the field and 70% from the free throw line. Two runs in the final quarter got them within close range but each time the Pacers would respond with a run of their own to help seal their second win against the Heat in seven days.