DWYANE WADE
Scored 22 of his 35 points in the second half, finishing 12-of-20 from the field, adding eight rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes.
JIM O'BRIEN
"It all comes down to defense. If we’re not defending and getting stops, we never get into a decent flow. Defense feeds our offense. In order to win basketball games, we need a tempo that starts with challenging shots and rebounding the basketball. I thought that the game came down to the third quarter and we let them back in with inadequate defense.”
  • Points in the paint: Heat 42, Pacers 34
  • Fast-break points: Heat 13, Pacers 7
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 5, Heat 4
  • Points off turnovers: Heat 20, Pacers 11
  • Starters scoring: Heat 84, Pacers 67
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 29, Heat 14
  • Saturday's game concluded a stretch in which the Pacers played nine of 11 games on the road (they went 3-8). They play 10 of their next 13 at home.
    The Pacers begin a four-game homestand, their longest of the season, Tuesday against Detroit in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m, FSN-Indiana, WFNI-AM 1070).
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  • MIAMI 98, INDIANA 96
    Wade, Heat snap streak against Pacers

    At Miami | Jan. 26, 2008


    Having demonstrated a remarkable proficiency for enabling opponents of all shapes, sizes and levels of competence to bust their slumps, the Pacers have created a new challenge: how to bust their own.

    With Dwyane Wade scoring 22 of his 35 points in the second half, Miami overcame an 11-point deficit to beat the Pacers 98-96 Saturday evening to snap a 15-game losing streak just two shy of the franchise's all-time record.

    For the Pacers (19-26), the 13th loss in 17 games represented a new low because it established them as the only team in the NBA with losses to the league's four worst teams: the Heat, Timberwolves, Sonics and Grizzlies. Indiana's three-game losing streak has come against teams that entered their respective games with a combined record of 40-83 (Chicago was 16-24, Milwaukee 16-26, Miami 8-33).

    They also allowed an opposing player to score at least 35 for the third consecutive game, with Wade following Chicago's Kirk Hinrich (38 Wednesday) and Milwaukee's Michael Redd (37 Thursday). This was the 10th time this season the Pacers have blown a double-digit lead to lose.

    "It all comes down to defense," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "If we’re not defending and getting stops, we never get into a decent flow. Defense feeds our offense. In order to win basketball games, we need a tempo that starts with challenging shots and rebounding the basketball. I thought that the game came down to the third quarter and we let them back in with inadequate defense.”

    What good news that exists for the Pacers lies in a change of venue. Having played nine of the last 11 (and 26 of the first 45) on the road, they play four in a row and 10 of 13 at Conseco Fieldhouse – although the four opponents on the upcoming homestand (Detroit, Houston, Orlando and San Antonio) hardly offer a respite.

    “We didn’t do well," said Travis Diener, who started his second game in a row. "We need to regroup. We go home for a while now, and we need to start winning. We’ve spent pretty much this whole month on the road, and we need to go home and find a way to win.”

    Mike Dunleavy led Indiana with 25 points, but 16 came in the first quarter. No one else offered up much of a contribution. Danny Granger (13 points) shot 5-of-15 and Kareem Rush (12 points) was 5-of-16. Andre Owens scored 13 off the bench. The Pacers played without starters Jermaine O'Neal and Jamaal Tinsley, both resting sore left knees. Indiana committed 13 of its 19 turnovers in the second half.

    “It just seems like we really shoot ourselves in the foot sometimes when we turn the ball over and the other teams get some momentum and make a run," Dunleavy said. "They did that in the third quarter. In the fourth, we hung in there until the end, but we just didn’t make enough plays to win the game.”

    “We’re just so up-and-down. Sometimes we really look good out there defensively and are doing everything right, and then we go through stretches where we have major breakdowns, and teams go on runs. I think we need to improve and to get more wins, we need to be more consistent on the defensive end.”

    Miami was minus its two future Hall of Fame centers, Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning, but Mark Blount filled the middle with aplomb, scoring 16 of his 19 points in the second half, 10 in the fourth quarter. Dorell Wright scored 14 with 10 rebounds, Udonis Haslem 12 with nine rebounds and Earl Barron 10 off the bench.

    With Dunleavy scoring 16 of the team's first 19 points and 14 in a row, the Pacers got off to a solid start and led most of the first half, twice by 11, the last being 57-46 late in the second period. Wade came to life in the third period, scoring nine points in an 11-0 run. Miami's lead grew to 85-79 after an 8-2 run to start the fourth period.

    Wade's free throws made it 96-89 with 2:01 remaining but Dunleavy hit a jumper and Rush a 3-pointer to cut it to 96-94. Wade converted a scrambling drive with 48 seconds left and Granger answered with a pair of free throws and it was 98-96 with 39 seconds remaining.

    The Pacers then forced a shot-clock violation to set up one last shot. Rush got a good look from the top of the arc but missed, though Troy Murphy saved the possession by chasing down the long rebound and knocking out of bounds off Haslem with 5.8 seconds left.

    Wade deflected Dunleavy's inbounds pass into the backcourt, where Owens chased it down but rather than advancing the ball with a pass to save precious seconds, he instead dribbled it upcourt and was left with nothing better than a near-midcourt heave that wasn't close.