HEAT Defend With Purpose, Defeat Pacers 92-87

Duncan Robinson
Photo Credit: Ron Hoskins
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

It certainly wasn’t the prettiest game, but all that matters is that the HEAT defeated the Pacers 92-87 Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. And it was largely due to stout defense, as Miami held Indiana to just 40 percent shooting from the field.

That’ll win you games more often than not.

Let’s get into some notable performances.

1. Duncan Continues Hot Streak

Sooo…Duncan Robinson scored the HEAT’s first six points and never looked back.

From there, the 26-year-old continued to hunt for his looks and did a ton of damage from beyond the arc thanks to screens and dribble handoffs from Bam Adebayo.

That said, Robinson also competed hard defensively, closed out well and made more plays off the dribble.

After collapsing the defense and dishing out this nice pass to Trevor Ariza in the third…

…he took advantage of Myles Turner overplaying him and blew by the big fella for this score in the fourth:

When it was all said and done, Robinson amassed a game-high 20 points (a game-high eight in the fourth, tied with Adebayo) on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 6-of-11 from deep, a team-high eight boards (tied with Adebayo), four assists and a game-high plus-17 rating.

2. Jimmy Strong In The Third…Again

Much like against the Knicks, Jimmy Butler sparked Miami in the third quarter and helped turn things around.

No, he didn’t score 15 points in the period, but he did a little bit of everything with eight points, three dimes, two steals and two big drawn offensive fouls on Domantas Sabonis.

For proof of just how much he wanted it, take a look at this steal late in the quarter:

(Tyler Herro made a great effort there as well.)

Butler finished with 18 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and 6-of-7 shooting from the line, five boards, four assists, those aforementioned team-high two steals and a block.

3. Tyler Mixes It Up

From the start, Herro thrived off the ball and mixed up his offensive approach against the Pacers.

Not only did he hit a couple catch-and-shoot treys, but he also finished plays in the paint, including this smart cut in the fourth:

(Also note the solid pass from Adebayo over the top of Goga Bitadze.)

In all, Herro tallied 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 2-of-6 from downtown, three rebounds, two assists and a block.

Other Takeaways:

-Goran Dragić scored nine quick points in the first quarter and ended up with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting, including 2-of-5 from long range, three rebounds and two assists.

Game Notes:

-Udonis Haslem and KZ Okpala (health and safety protocols) were inactive.

-Kendrick Nunn (right ankle sprain) and Victor Oladipo (head cold) were active scratches.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will head home to host the Warriors on Thursday at 8PM. Tickets can be found here.

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