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Heat fall short against Pacers, lose 95-88

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Miami didn’t have enough gas in the tank to finish an inspired third quarter comeback. They’d ultimately fall short yet again against the Oladipo-less Pacers.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat haven’t played well in awhile and that needed to change that tonight, for awhile it looked like it did, but it didn’t last after an inspired third quarter comeback didn’t sustain itself in the fourth quarter.

Miami started off strong with both Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside getting on the board early. Whiteside was impressive as he torched Turner on the offensive end and was a rebound grabbing menace. Still, Miami’s lack of help defense was a problem yet again. Without Oladipo, the Pacers had to lean on Bogdanovic for the majority of the offense, though he did have help from Turner and Collison.

Miami managed to get out to a six point lead in the first and maintained for a little while in the second, until Miami’s turnover issues reared their ugly head yet again. Luckily, unlike in other games they didn’t give up and continued to roll with the punches. Unfortunately, they also settled for some low percentage looks.

One thing to note, Dwyane Wade is still amazing. Though his game has changed, his court vision is still second to none and his finishing ability is spectacular.

The Heat and Pacers would go back and forth for a little bit, but Miami got on a nice stretch led by Whiteside, Tyler and Kelly Olynyk. Miami took a one point lead into halftime.

The Heat were awful to start the third quarter letting the Pacers go on a 10-0 run. The Heat looked tired, and the defensive rotations were trash. If Bojan Bogdanovic is lighting you up, there’s a serious problem. Their shot selection was no better. I wish I could say I was surprised.

The only two players capable of goof basketball it seemed, were Wade and Olynyk. They did all they could to keep Miami alive in the third. Their efforts led to a 13-2 scoring run to end the quarter. Suddenly the Heat had momentum going into the fourth quarter.

It took a little while for the Heat to get going in the fourth, but they were able to cut the lead to just four. The drought affected both teams though. The Pacers managed to go seven minutes without a field goal. Still, their defense was strong keeping the Heat at bay. Miami had multiple opportunities to strike, but instead engaged in self sabotage with bad passes, violations, and plain turnovers.

The Heat missed their opportunity during the Pacers’ seven minute drought, and their inability to score in the fourth quarter cost them this game. Miami is about to go on a very tough road trip before the All-Star break, and following the break their schedule isn’t easy. The next ten games will likely determine if the Heat are playoffs bound, right now it’s tough to tell if they are.