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Heat fall to Pacers 109-106, lose third straight

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Miami shot just 9-for-37 from 3.

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Early in the overtime period of the Miami Heat’s second consecutive game hosting the Indiana Pacers, Miami appeared to be in good shape. The Heat had scored the first five points of the overtime — the first bucket a Jimmy Butler-to-Bam Adebayo alley-oop dunk, the second a Duncan Robinson 3. And in the opening possession of overtime, Domantas Sabonis fouled out.

The Heat had trailed 98-92 with 1:34 left in the fourth quarter, but scored the final six points to force overtime. (That run also included an errant Tyler Herro 3 with 41.9 seconds left on a fast-break and a missed Butler free throw that would’ve given Miami a 99-98 lead with 12.2 seconds left.)

But after a timeout, Justin Holiday made back-to-back 3s, giving Indiana a 104-103 lead with 2:32 left in the overtime period. After Miami called a timeout, Myles Turner blocked Adebayo at the rim. On Miami’s next possession, Butler went to work in the post, but missed a turnaround shot.

Malcolm Brogdon hit a 3-pointer, giving Indiana a four-point lead. Although Adebayo connected on a dunk and-one opportunity to pull Miami within one, Caris LeVert answered with a runner. On the other end of the floor, Herro air-balled a 3 with just 30 seconds left.

The Heat got the stop on the Pacers’ last possession, but Butler opted to push the ball in the final seconds instead of calling a timeout. He missed the potential game-tying 3 at the buzzer, and Miami dropped their third straight game and fell out of the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.

With the March 25 trade deadline rapidly approaching, this three-game losing streak has led some Heat fans to call for a significant move. The Heat’s 3-point shooting has been sub-par lately, and that didn’t change Sunday afternoon. Herro shot an abysmal 0-for-7 from downtown, while Kelly Olynyk was just 1-for-7. Duncan Robinson was 1-for-9 from downtown until his two late 3s — one to close the fourth, the other in overtime. All three have seen their 3-point percentages drop this season.

The only Heat player who shot well from 3 was Gabe Vincent, who shot 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. And Vincent only played because Goran Dragic had to miss the game with back spasms.

Miami wasted a great performance from Adebayo, who went 11-of-21 from the field for 29 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. He made great defensive stops and timely baskets, and also put Sabonis on a poster early in the third quarter. Initially, the referee called it a charge, but Erik Spoelstra challenged the call successfully.

Sunday also marked the first significant stint of Trevor Ariza’s Heat tenure. He was the first sub off the bench in the third quarter and played the whole overtime period (after Andre Iguodala played in the fourth.) Ariza hit a 3-pointer and had a nice drive to the basket. But the Heat need another trade to have a chance to compete for a championship.

The Heat will next host the Phoenix Suns Tuesday at 8 p.m.