Pacers 97, Heat 91
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Reggie Miller still has the touch.
“When Jermaine and Ron go inside, it’s easier for other players to get shots,” Miller said. “We really showed our depth.”
Miller’s fifth 3-pointer gave Indiana a 90-82 lead with under three minutes to go, and the Pacers scored their final seven points on free throws, five by Anthony Johnson.
“You know what? It’s not a surprise,” Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said of Miller’s efficient shooting. “He’s been in the league 17 years and he’s still here early every day doing his shooting. The guy is a consummate pro, and it’s not an accident that the ball goes in when he shoots it.”
O’Neal also had 13 rebounds and Scot Pollard had a season-high nine boards as Indiana had a 46-30 rebounding edge.
“We knew they wouldn’t go away,” O’Neal said. “They always play strong, sticky defense, but we got great help from our bench, Pollard in particular.”
Indiana led by as many as 10 in the first half before Lamar Odom rallied Miami in the third quarter. Odom, who had 25 points, hit a 3-pointer that tied the game at 62. Dwyane Wade’s two free throws gave the Heat the lead for the last time at 64-62.
The Pacers—then playing their second unit—scored the last eight points of the third quarter and completed a 15-0 run with the first seven of the final period for a 77-64 lead. Odom then hit two free throws, the first points for the Heat in six minutes, to start their final comeback.
With Indiana’s starters back in the game, another free throw by Odom made it 83-81 with just over three minutes to go, but Artest and O’Neal scored for the Pacers and Miller hit his final 3-pointer.
“That was the backbreaker, the one that sewed it up,” Van Gundy said.
Artest, who was 4-of-20 from the field, hit two free throws and Johnson finished off the Heat with four straight free throws in the final 38 seconds.
Eddie Jones added 21 points and Wade had 15 for the Heat. Johnson was the top reserve for the Pacers with 13 points.
“Defensively, we were pretty good, but we did give up a couple of easy baskets down the stretch,” Jones said. “They’re a deep team and they are a talented team. … then Reggie hits that big 3.”
Rafer Alston scored all 14 of his points in the first half to keep the Heat close after Indiana twice took leads of 10 points.
“We got crushed on the boards. That was really the difference,” Van Gundy said. “We didn’t make a lot of mistakes, but they hit some timely 3s and wecouldn’t get it done on the glass.”
The loss was Miami’s 22nd on the road this season, matching Orlando for the most defeats away from home. … The Pacers are 22-3 when Artest scores at least 20 points … Miller was 0-3 from the field and had two FTs at Toronto on Friday. … Odom has scored in double figures a career-high 26 straight games. … Indiana has won 11 of its last 13 games against Miami, including all fourgames last year and the first two this season.