INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 23 (Ticker) --
Enormous efforts by Dwyane Wade
were not enough to overcome the absence of
or the presence of Jermaine O'Neal
scored six of his 29 points in overtime,
including a short jumper with 11 seconds left, as the Indiana
Pacers defeated the Miami Heat for the 11th straight time,
NBA TV highlights from |
After compiling the best record in the Eastern Conference during
the All-Star break, the Heat lost Shaquille O'Neal
superstar center, to a knee injury in Tuesday's overtime loss to
Chicago. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Thursday.
"The game seems a little more fluid and open without him in
there," Jermaine O'Neal
said. "When he's in there, he presents
a big challenge. When he's not, you've got guys like
who are putting it on the floor, trying to get to the
basket, and do some things that they normally don't do when
Shaq's in there."
Without their dominant force, the Heat relied heavily on Wade,
who had 38 points, eight assists and five steals, and Haslem,
who had 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.
"It says a lot about our team that without Shaq we were able to
compete like we did," Haslem said. "It proves that we won't lay
down for anyone."
Wade, Haslem and Jermaine O'Neal
were the only players to score
in overtime. After a jumper by O'Neal at the 2:48 mark, Haslem
tipped in a miss and Wade sank two free throws to give Miami a
91-89 lead with 1:24 to go.
O'Neal, who also had 14 rebounds, answered with a follow shot
that tied it with 57 seconds left.
Wade forced a jumper that missed badly, and the Pacers again
went to O'Neal, whose turnaround 12-footer from the right
baseline over Haslem and a leaping Wade gave the Pacers the
"It was drawn up for me to try the strong side, then post up on
the weak side," O'Neal said. "We figured that, with Haslem being
a couple of inches shorter than me, I could get my shot off. I
knew there was help towards the middle, so I went baseline and
hit the shot."
Wade and Haslem did all they could to alter the shot.
"It was a tough shot. Udonis and I were right in his face," Wade
said. "I thought I did enough to let him know I was there, but
he was able to knock it down."
"He's their go-to-guy, he's their All-Star, and he stepped up,"
Wade, who made 13-of-24 shots, missed an open 3-pointer at the
"I bobbled it a little trying to get it off, but I had a good
look," Wade said. "I thought it was good. That's what happens
after two overtimes in two nights - you come up a little short."
scored 17 points for the Heat, who have lost two in
a row for the first time since January 9-11. Miami has not
beaten Indiana in the regular season since January 19, 2002,
although it did win twice in last year's loss in the conference
"It was a tough game ... a tough loss," Heat coach Stan VanGundy
said. "Dwyane was fabulous ... phenomenal. It would have
been great for him to have knocked down that last shot. Our
defense was great and I think we got better shots than them down
the stretch. They just out-sized us late in the game, and that
was the difference."
scored 23 points and Stephen Jackson
added 13 and
10 boards for the Pacers, who matched a season high with their
fourth straight win.
There were four ties in the last three minutes of regulation. A
jumper by Jackson gave Indiana an 85-83 lead with 1:02 left, but
Haslem tied it with two free throws 17 seconds later.
O'Neal made a pair from the line with 32 seconds to go but
goaltended a drive by Damon Jones
and missed an 18-footer at the