MIKE DUNLEAVY
Hot shooting got Pacers off to a torrid start and finished with 20 points, three rebounds and two steals.
RICK CARLISLE
"I think our guys really are tired of losing and just put together a really concentrated, full-capacity effort in this game. … As a team, we did a great job dealing with (Shaquille O'Neal) early and it helped us get out and run and make some shots early without having to run a set offense."
Points in the Paint:
Heat 36, Pacers 26
Fast-break points:
Pacers 11, Heat 7
2nd-chance points:
Pacers 7, Heat 5
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 13, Heat 9
Starters scoring:
Pacers 64, Heat 33
Bench scoring:
Heat 37, Pacers 31
The Pacers have won 10 straight home games against the Heat dating back to Dec. 31, 2001.
The homestand continues against Kirk Hinrich and the Chicago Bulls Sunday in Conseco Fieldhouse (3:30 p.m., no TV broadcast).
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  • INDIANA 95, MIAMI 70
    Pacers' Hot Start Finishes Heat

    By Conrad Brunner | March 23, 2007


    Anyone who saw this coming should stock up on lottery tickets.

    Miami entered on a roll, with 10 wins in 11 games, riding high and rekindling thoughts of an NBA championship defense. Indiana couldn't have been in a much deeper funk with 13 losses in 14 games, its worst slump in 17 years.

    Yet it was the Pacers that dominated from beginning to end, building a 30-point lead in the first 13½ minutes and maintaining a comfortable margin throughout on their way to a 95-70 blowout of the Heat Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    With their most lopsided victory margin of the year, the Pacers snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 31-37 overall, moving into eighth place in the Eastern Conference in a virtual tie with seventh-place Orlando (32-38) and one-half game ahead of New Jersey (31-38).


    PLUSES

    Two players vital to the team's stretch-run hopes stepped forward. Mike Dunleavy got the Pacers off to a hot-shooting start by making his first five shots and scoring 15 of his 20 in the opening period. Danny Granger played with an aggressive edge to his game throughout and racked up 22 points, five rebounds and two assists on 9-of-15 shooting. Jermaine O'Neal had a significant game with 15 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Troy Murphy scored 11 with four rebounds off the bench.

    Jeff Foster played a major role in harassing Shaquille O'Neal into an uneventful 13-point night, but he had plenty of help as the Pacers swarmed Miami's center, a strategy that paid major dividends as there was no kick-out shooting to be found. The Heat shot 4-of-25 from the arc and 32.5 percent overall. Jamaal Tinsley had eight assists and three steals and Shawne Williams (five points, six rebounds) and Darrell Armstrong (eight points, four assists) both brought life off the bench.


    MINUSES
    After a 25-point blowout of the hottest team in the East, let's give this category a rest.
    MOMENTS
    The game was over almost before it began as the Pacers rolled out to a 39-9 lead at 10:41 of the second quarter, making 14-of-20 shots while Miami was 3-of-22. Dunleavy scored 15 in that opening burst, with O'Neal and Granger scoring eight apiece.

    Miami offered up two brief challenges but the Pacers responded both times. Gary Payton sparked a 13-2 run early in the second that cut the lead to 39-22, but the Pacers pushed the lead back to 52-32 at the half. James Posey hit a couple of shots as Miami had a 10-3 run early in the third quarter to close to 57-42 but O'Neal scored seven in a row in an 11-3 counter that made it 70-45 and that was that.


    TIDBITS
  • Miami's nine points in the first quarter tied the season low for any period by a Pacers opponent. It also tied the fewest ever scored against the Pacers in the opening quarter.
  • The Pacers' two biggest victory margins of the season (including 23 against Atlanta) have come in their last two home games.
  • Indiana's defense has limited opponents to an average of 84.0 points in the last four games.