The Miami Heat were listless in a season-opening loss at home. They’ll next play in a city where they haven’t win in nearly six years.
Miami will try to snap a 10-game losing streak at Conseco Fieldhouse it meets the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
The Heat (0-1) are 2-12 all-time at Conseco, and will be looking for their first win there since Dec. 31, 2001.
Miami will try to end that slide and bounce back from a 91-80 loss to Detroit at home on Thursday in its season opener. Ricky Davis, acquired in a five-player deal from Minnesota on Oct. 24, was 10-of-19 from the floor - including 2-of-5 from behind the arc - and finished with 23 points in his Heat debut.
Davis will be a key to Miami’s offense while star point guard Dwyane Wade continues to recover from offseason knee and shoulder surgeries. But in his last three starts in Indiana, Davis has been held to a total of 14 points on 5-of-30 shooting from the floor.
Shaquille O’Neal was double-teamed by the Pistons and held to six shots and nine points - none in the first half.
“We took a lot of jump shots, way too many jump shots,” said O’Neal, who is trying to bounce back after leg and knee injuries limited him to 40 games and 17.3 points - both career lows - last season. “I’d like more than six shots if we’re going to win, especially until Dwyane comes back.”
During Miami’s current skid in Indianapolis, O’Neal did not play in three of those losses, and averaged only 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds in three others.
Dating back to the end of last season and including the 2007-08 preseason, Miami has dropped 10 in a row. The Heat went 8-8 in the second game in back-to-back contests last season.
The Pacers (1-0) recorded their sixth straight season-opening win by defeating Washington 119-110 in overtime on Wednesday. Jamaal Tinsley scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and added nine rebounds and eight assists.
Tinsley, who averaged 12.8 points, 6.9 assists and 3.3 rebounds last season under Rick Carlisle, said new coach Jim O’Brien’s fast-paced game plan is better suited for him.
“Any time when you’ve got the ball in your hands and you can create for yourself and others, I’m the type of person that can break my man down at any time,” Tinsley said. “It fits my game.”
With forward Jermaine O’Neal out with a hyperextended left knee due to a collision in practice on Oct. 8, and center Troy Murphy suffering from a strained left Achillies’ tendon, the Pacers got double-doubles from Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy. Granger finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Dunleavy added a game-high 25 points and 12 boards.
Granger shot 57.7 percent from the field (30-of-52) in four games against Miami last season, averaging 22.5 points. The teams split the season series.
O’Brien said he expects O’Neal to make his season debut for the Pacers in this contest. He led the team with 19.4 points and 9.6 rebounds per game last season.
Indiana will be looking to start 2-0 for the second time in three seasons.