After dropping their first two games against the Heat in similar fashion, the Pacers find themselves in desperate need of a win in Game 3 to climb back into their best-of-seven playoff series.
Turnovers and 3-point shooting were the biggest concern in Indiana's 109-100 loss to Miami in Game 2. Indiana coughed the ball up 17 times while the Heat to go 18-for-35 from 3-point range. Second-year Miami guard Duncan Robinson was particularly a problem, going 7-for-8 from beyond the arc on his way to a game-high 24 points.
The Pacers also will need better production from their bench in Game 3. All five starters scored in double figures in Game 2, but Indiana's reserves combined for just 18 points and were outscored by 12 by Miami's bench.
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JaKarr Sampson scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in 17 minutes and Justin Holiday chipped in six points and seven rebounds, but the rest of the second unit struggled. T.J. McConnell, Doug McDermott, and Edmond Sumner combined for just four points on 2-for-11 shooting.
Despite those struggles, the Pacers trailed by just five points at halftime and remained striking distance for most of Game 2. They just weren't able to mount a charge down the stretch, as Heat veterans Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic came through in the clutch for the second straight game to seal the victory.
But the Pacers head into Game 3 with the confidence that they can compete with the Heat.
"This series is far from over," Pacers point guard Malcolm Brogdon said after Game 2. "We've just got to focus on getting our first win. Just get one win and then go from there."
Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG -Victor Oladipo, SF - Aaron Holiday, PF - T.J. Warren, C - Myles Turner
Heat: PG - Goran Dragic, SG - Duncan Robinson, SF - Jimmy Butler, PF - Jae Crowder, C - Bam Adebayo
Pacers: Jeremy Lamb - out (torn left ACL), Domantas Sabonis - out (left foot plantar fasciitis)
Heat: Jae Crowder - questionable (left ankle sprain), Derrick Jones Jr. - questionable (left ankle sprain), KZ Okpala - out (personal reasons), Gabe Vincent - out (right shoulder sprain)
Aug. 20, 2020: The Heat took a five-point lead into halftime, hit their first eight shots to start the third quarter, and never looked back on their way to a 109-100 Game 2 victory.
"When you come out of halftime and the opposing team knocks down a few threes, that can be deflating," Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon said. "That put us in a hole that we were working to get back from the entire half."
Victor Oladipo scored a team-high 22 points for Indiana in the loss, going 4-for-11 from 3-point range and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Myles Turner added 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting, eight rebounds, and five blocks for the Blue & Gold.
Sharpshooter Duncan Robinson went 7-for-8 from beyond the arc on his way to a game-high 24 points for Miami. Goran Dragic added 20 points and six assists, while Jimmy Butler chipped in 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals for the Heat.
- Indiana has lost its last seven playoff games. The Pacers' last playoff victory came in Game 6 against Cleveland on April 27, 2018.
- The Pacers have lost the first two games of a best-of-seven NBA playoff series seven times and have lost all seven of those series. Indiana has, however, pushed three of those series to Game 7.
- Jimmy Butler went 1-for-10 from 3-point range over his final 17 regular season games, but has seemingly rediscovered his outside shot against the Pacers, going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc over the first two games of the series.
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
TNT - Brian Anderson (play-by-play), Chris Webber (analyst), Jared Greenberg (sideline reporter)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)