While the Miami Heat have played without Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo for this extended stretch, the formula to win has been simple — hit 3-point shots. Tuesday night against the Indiana Pacers, Miami had another scintillating night from beyond the arc to blow out the Indiana Pacers, 125-96.
While the Pacers briefly led early in the game, the Heat’s 3-point shooting gradually built a lead that crested at 33 points. Duncan Robinson missed his first two shots from downtown, but hit two 3s and a midrange shot before the first quarter ended. Even KZ Okpala and Dewayne Dedmon made 3s in the first.
Early in the second, Tyler Herro — who returned from a three-game absence Tuesday night — drove straight into the lane for a thunderous dunk.
And that moment was just the first of many highlight-reel plays from the third-year guard. He hit two 3s in the second period — the second one put Miami up 47-28 — and then went on a personal 8-0 run early in the fourth to bury the Pacers. Herro finished with 26 points on 8-of-17 shooting overall and 5-of-8 from downtown and five rebounds.
Robinson also scored 26 points, and he shot 6-of-10 from downtown. But the sharpshooter also made four two-point field goals, making several drives to the basket for layups when defenders played him for the 3. Over the last month, Robinson has showed more willingness to take more than just 3-pointers. It’s a good sign of growth.
Kyle Lowry finished the night two points shy of a triple-double, with eight points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. (Lowry remained in the game to open the fourth to try to score a bucket, to no avail.) Lowry was the one player who struggled from 3 — he went 0-for-5 — but made numerous great passes, like this one to Max Strus in the fast-break.
Some Heat fans have been disappointed that Lowry hasn’t looked for his shot that much with Miami. But he’s setting up undrafted, unheralded players for buckets — and the Heat have won games despite injuries to their two best players. Lowry is doing his job.
Although Herro returned for Miami, P.J. Tucker missed his first game of the season Tuesday night. And KZ Okpala had one of his better games, scoring 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Okpala hit an early corner 3 and later hung around the dunker spot for easy baskets. Without Butler and Adebayo, that’s huge.
Another young player in the front court, Omer Yurtseven, played well. The rookie center grabbed 13 rebounds, in just 22 minutes of action and added eight points. Yurtseven out-worked Myles Turner for some offensive rebounds in the second quarter and threw down a dunk over Domantas Sabonis late in the third.
Yurtseven, though, fouled out in his 22 minutes. That led Erik Spoelstra to call up the 41-year-old Udonis Haslem to play. And Haslem made a 3-pointer himself in garbage time.
The Heat will get a re-match with the Detroit Pistons Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.