Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Minutes prior to the opening tip against the Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield was locked in, draining nine straight 3-pointers during pregame warmups at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
That offensive efficiency translated to game action, as Hield scored 22 first-half points for Indiana to help build a 12-point halftime lead before the Pacers (4-5) made key defensive stops in the waning seconds for a 101-99 win against the Heat (4-6) on Friday.
While the Pacers led by double-digits early, the Heat stormed back to tie it at 94-94 with five minutes left in the game. But Hield had something to say about that – hitting a 3-pointer to put the Pacers back ahead 97-94 with 3:22 remaining.
Up 100-97 with 10 seconds left, Pacers veteran center Myles Turner came up with a huge block, which was originally called a foul but was overturned by the referees on review, to give Indiana the ball.
Tyler Herro, the reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year, then made two free throws with 8.4 ticks left after the Pacers intentionally fouled him.
After an intentional foul by the Heat, Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin, the No. 6 overall draft pick in the 2022 NBA draft, split free throws.
On the Heat’s final possession, Herro missed a 3-point attempt while being guarded by Pacers rookie Andrew Nembhard.
“The thing that I loved about tonight was, along the way, there were difficult things that were happening, things that were going wrong, but guys kept lifting each other up through the whole thing,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said.
In the first quarter, the Heat took an early lead before the Pacers' offense got rolling.
Miami’s Max Strus made the most of starting in place of injured six-time NBA All-Star Jimmy Butler by scoring five quick points, on a 3-pointer and dunk, to help the visitors to a 12-7 lead four minutes into the game.
Pacers second-year guard Chris Duarte left the game with an ankle injury with 7:12 left in the first quarter. He didn’t return in the game.
Miami was able to maintain the lead until two baskets by Hield, a trio of free throws by Mathurin, and two makes from the charity stripe by Isaiah Jackson put the Pacers up 24-22 with 2:49 left in the opening frame.
The teams traded the lead five times before the end of the first quarter, but the Heat were able to stay ahead at 29-28.
Indiana used a 10-0 run, behind eight straight points by Hield, to put the Pacers ahead 44-38 with 6:58 left in the first half.
The Pacers continued to build on that lead, using a 14-0 run from the 5:31-mark to the 2:32-mark in the second quarter, to open up a 59-43 advantage.
Point guard Tyrese Haliburton added a trey with six ticks left on the clock to extend the Pacers lead to 62-50 at halftime.
On top of Hield’s 22, Mathurin had 14 points for the Pacers and Turner had 10 at the half. Herro, who scored 14 points, was the only player to score in double figures for the Heat.
Herro caught fire for the Heat out of the break, scoring 10 of the team’s 27 third-quarter points.
The Heat used a 10-2 run, behind 3-pointers by Strus and Herro, to cut it to 73-70 with 5:51 left in the third quarter
The Pacers didn’t score in the last 3:11 of the third quarter while the Heat just added two points as Indiana led 80-77 going into the final 12 minutes of play.
After Strus and Mathurin traded 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter, Jackson dunked an alley-oop pass from Nembhard to energize the crowd with 10:14 remaining.
Jackson then finished another pass from Nembhard at the rim and had a crowd-roaring block that led to a 3-pointer by Mathruin to put the Pacers up 90-84 with 8:45 left in the game.
Five straight points by Heat guard Gabe Vincent tied the game at 94 with 5:35 left on the clock before the dramatic finish.
Herro led all scorers with 29 points, Bam Adebayo had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Strus scored 17 points for the Heat.
Hield topped the Pacers with 25 points to go along with nine rebounds, Mathurin scored 23 points and Haliburton had 22 points, nine assists and nine rebounds. Turner collected 16 points and seven rebounds in his home debut this season.
“It felt amazing (playing a regular season game again) at home,” Turner said. Just knowing that the fans here embrace me and I embrace them. It felt good just to be back in Gainbridge and hear that energy again, feel that energy. I think that for me personally, it never gets old stepping in here in the fourth quarter and everybody's live. In the last two, three minutes of the game I just feel it goes to another level. It's such a huge advantage for us. I've got mad love for everybody here. And the love that they show me is reciprocated."
The Heat finished with a 38.3 percent shooting clip (11-for-39 3-point) while the Pacers shot 46.3 percent (12-for-39 3-point) overall.
Indiana made 15 of 23 attempts while the Heat sank all 26 tries.
The Pacers will continue their four-game home stand against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans at 7:45 PM on Monday.
Inside the Numbers
On the season, Nembhard has 26 assists and four turnovers for a ratio of 6.3 – good for eighth-best in the NBA . He had a career-high six assists against Miami.
Turner finished with three blocks in the game, putting him at 998 for his career. Just Jermaine O’Neal (1,245 blocks), Rik Smits (1,111 blocks) and Herb Williams (1,094) have more blocks than Turner in Pacers history.
Miami’s made all 26 of its free throws in the game, the second most made from the charity stripe without a miss in franchise history.
You Can Quote Me On That
“(Nembhard) just plays a very sensible, old school, all-around game. He's tough. I mean, when you put a rookie on Tyler Herro on the last play of the game with a pretty good idea that ball is gonna go to him, and he's makes that kind of a defensive stand, and makes him shoot a falling away, contested, difficult 3-point shot, and he does it without fouling … that's strong. Strong for a guy who was picked in the second round ... although we view him as a first round pick.” - Carlisle on Nembhard’s performance
“(We) just dug in and got stops...Guys were in their gaps, guys were pulled over. It's not easy when they've got the shooters that they do on the floor, having to run those guys off the line and also be in the gaps and things like that, but I feel like we did a really good job." - Tyrese Haliburton on holding the Heat at bay
“I think it was unselfishness on both ends. We were playing for each other on both ends. If someone went down, we were rotating. And we were getting stops, we were getting out and running and getting each other the ball and moving it. That unselfishness on both ends is really contagious." - T.J. McConnell on the keys to the win
"(I feel) no pressure at all, honestly. It's just hoops at the end of the day. I feel super comfortable out there and I think the coaching staff and the players have confidence in me. All I can do is just bring my own confidence...I've always had that calm, cool, collected demeanor about myself on the court. I think it's good as a PG just to kind of let that go through the team, let (them) feed off of that." -- Nembhard on playing key minutes down the stretch
Stat of the Night
Friday’s victory marked career head coaching win 865 for Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle, who surpassed Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach Jack Ramsay on the NBA all-time head coaching win list for 14th. Ramsay, who led the Portland Trail Blazers to the NBA title in 1977, coached the Pacers from 1986 to 1988.
The Pacers host Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Monday, Nov. 7 at 7:45 PM ET. Find Tickets >>