With score tied 96-96, James Johnson missed a free throw with 8.3 seconds left to win the game, and sent the game into overtime after a last-ditch effort by Victor Oladipo fell wide left.
Miami initially went ahead 100-98 in overtime on baskets by Dwyane Wade and Josh Richardson, but an 8-0 run by Indiana put the game in jeopardy, 106-100 with 1:21 remaining on the clock.
Richardson’s transition basket made the score 106-102, but a Darren Collison 3-pointer with under a minute left took the air of the Heat’s balloon as the Pacers’ lead swelled to 109-102.
Miami jumped out to a commanding 28-14 ten minutes into the game, on the hot shooting of Tyler Johnson, who made all four of his 3-point attempts, and Heat ended the first quarter up by 30-21.
The middle two quarters saw extremely sloppy play, especially by the bench unit. as Miami was outscored 61-44 by the Pacers, and trailed 82-74 going into the final quarter.
After 3 quarters the usually robust rotation players put the team into hole by -47 points among 4 players, or 12 points as a unit, while Miami’s starters as a group beat Indiana’s starters by 4 points.
The Heat battled back from an eight-point deficit to start the 4th quarter, and grabbed their first lead in the quarter, 91-90, on a James Johnson 3-point basket with 5:14 remaining in regulation time.
In the last 5 minutes both teams clamped down on defense to allow only 11 points between them, leading to a stalemate after 48 minutes.
Oladipo and Thaddeus Young lead all scorers with 23 and 22 points, respectively, while Tyler Johnson had 19 points, followed by James Johnson’s 15, Bam Adebayo’s 14, and Wade’s 13.
Kelly Ollynyk just missed out on a triple double with 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 9 assists.
This was the second game in a row the platinum group lost its luster as the Oklahoma City Thunder bench unit also bashed Miami’s bench players.
In the last two games Miami’s bench offensive rating ranks 26th among all NBA teams, last of all playoff teams, ranking ahead only of teams such as the Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks.
It takes a group effort to vaporize an early 14-point lead, losing an overtime game shouldn’t be blamed only on any single player, because, of the 100 total shots Miami took for the game, all of them count exactly the same in the end.
Loses to two playoff teams show better teams have Miami’s bench figured out, and beating lottery teams in the remaining games may give the Heat a false sense of security when the Heat face playoff teams in the postseason.