HEAT 114 - Pacers 106 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Ron Hoskins
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT defeated the Indiana Pacers 114-106 Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Goran Dragić led the way for the HEAT with 20 points.

1. Can’t Stop Dragić

From the very beginning, it was pedal to the metal for Goran Dragić.

Despite being on the second night of a back-to-back, the Slovenian was as sharp as ever on attacks to the basket and mid-range jumpers off the pick-and-roll.

Of course, Dragić also set up his teammates supremely well and came through with this nifty pass to Hassan Whiteside after tight roping the sideline:

As the game progressed, the 31-year-old continued to be aggressive and hit a couple of big jumpers late to keep Miami ahead.

In addition to his team-high 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting, Dragić also had a game-high nine assists.

2. Whiteside Comes Up Huge Down The Stretch

Although Whiteside had himself a nice start and mixed things up with nifty hook shots and aggressive dives to the rim, he got into some foul trouble.

Then the fourth quarter happened.

In the period, Whiteside continued to set great screens and made winning plays on both ends in crunch time.

What a stuff on Domantas Sabonis.

When it was all said and done, Whiteside amassed 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and recorded game highs in rebounds (15), blocks (four) and plus-minus rating (plus-14).

Talk about a complete effort.

3. Ellington & TJ Get Going Late

Remember Wayne Ellington’s game-winning layup against Toronto?

Well, “The Man With The Golden Arm” got it done late once again, but it wasn’t a game winner and it came off a more traditional look for him.

Pure gold.

Ellington led the HEAT with four made treys and finished with 15 points, five rebounds, two assists and a plus-12 rating.

Tyler Johnson, meanwhile, went off in the fourth quarter with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting thanks to a few threes of his own and some nice finishes at the rim.

Johnson ended up with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting, five rebounds, two assists and a plus-nine rating.

4. Bam Continues To Impress

After a career night against the Raptors, Bam Adebayo continued to show his versatility on Wednesday. While he didn’t have as many boards or blocks this time around, he was still very active on both ends of the floor and set some great screens to free up his teammates.

However, he did have an impressive attack off the dribble like on Tuesday night.

Earlier, the rookie channeled his inner Kelly Olynyk with this fake handoff and short jumper:

In all, Adebayo had 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting, a career-high five assists, two boards and a steal.

Other Takeaways:

-Derrick Jones Jr. got off to a quick start and scored Miami’s first six points of the game.

Naturally, his best sequence of the night came during that flurry when he blocked Victor Oladipo’s shot and threw down a dunk on the other end.

When it was all said and done, Jones Jr. scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting.

Game Notes:

-This was the HEAT’s first regular season win in Indiana since Feb. 14, 2012.

-James Johnson (NBA suspension) and Justise Winslow (left knee strain) sat out. Dion Waiters (left ankle sprain), Okaro White (left foot surgery), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) and A.J. Hammons (Sioux Falls assignment) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will now return home and get ready for their matchup with the Bucks on Sunday at 1:00 PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.