Pacers road run stops in Miami with loss in OT
MIAMI — While waiting for word on Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat aren’t waiting to start their playoff push.
Goran Dragic scored 24 points, Hassan Whiteside finished with 19 points and 18 rebounds, and the Heat won their third consecutive game to start the post-All-Star schedule, rallying from 14 points down to beat the Indiana Pacers 101-93 in overtime Monday night.
Dwyane Wade added 16 points and Justise Winslow scored 15 for Miami, which won despite shooting only 38 percent. The Heat grabbed 66 rebounds for the second consecutive game after reaching that mark only three times in their first 28 seasons.
Luol Deng added 13 points and 16 rebounds for Miami.
Paul George had 31 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, and Myles Turner scored 16. But Indiana’s starting backcourt of Monta Ellis and George Hill missed 22 of 24 shots.
Ellis was 2 for 17, the worst game in the NBA this season for anyone taking 15 or more shots. The Pacers missed their first six attempts of the extra session, and Miami took control.
“No matter who’s on the floor, against Indiana, it’s proven it’s going to go down to the end,” Wade said before the game. “If one team jumps out to a 20- or an 18-point lead, it’s normally a close game.”
He was right.
Indiana opened the game on an 11-0 run and led by 14 before Miami came back. The Heat finished the half on an 11-0 spurt of their own to get to 44-41 at the break, then wound up leading by as many as six late in the third quarter before a frenzied finish to regulation.
Wade made two free throws with 4.5 seconds left to put Miami up one, but was called for a foul on a pass by Ellis with 0.8 seconds remaining. Ellis missed the first, made the second and off they went to overtime tied at 88.
Miami outscored the Pacers 13-5 in the extra period.
“It looks like every time we play against the Pacers we have a bad start, then it’s overtime, and then we win,” Dragic said. “I’m proud of my teammates. We didn’t start the game well, but we were focused enough to start building that character defense, and then offense was going a little bit, and a great, great victory.”
The Heat were again without Bosh, who is still determining how or when he can return this season after a blood clot — an issue that ended his 2014-15 season, though in a much more severe way — was found in his leg at All-Star weekend, a person with knowledge of the situation has told The Associated Press. The team still hasn’t even been able to reveal that is Bosh’s issue, and the All-Star forward has not made any public statements about the matter.
He’s scheduled to appear at a $225-a-plate private dinner Tuesday to promote the release of a new beer, and the team is hopeful there’s something to announce on his short-term future soon.
“We know he’s going to do everything possible to get back on the court,” Wade said.