It's win or go home for the Pacers on Monday night in Orlando. Facing a 3-0 deficit in their first-round series, Indiana must win Game 4 against the Heat to avoid elimination.
The Blue & Gold dug themselves a big hole in Game 3 on Saturday, surrendering 74 points in the first half, eight more than a Pacers opponent had scored all season over the first two quarters. The Heat led by as many as 20 and by 18 at halftime.
Indiana played much better in the second half, trimming the deficit to four by the end of the third quarter and twice getting within two in the final frame, but couldn't finish off the comeback, ultimately dropping a third straight game, 124-115.
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"We had nothing to lose," Pacers guard Victor Oladipo said of the difference after halftime. "It was either make something happen or get embarrassed, one of the two. We did a great job fighting making it a game, but unfortunately we came up short."
The Pacers will need to play with that same level of urgency and pride for a full four quarters in Game 4 if they want to avoid being swept out of the first round for the second straight season and the third time in the last four years.
Everyone knows that no team in NBA history has ever successfully rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win a series. But the series is not over until Miami wins a fourth game. The Pacers can't win four games at once so their sole focus should be on finding a way to win Game 4.
"We know what Game 4 is about," Pacers head coach McMillan said after Saturday's loss. "We're down 3-0 and it's win or go home. As I told our guys, we're not dead. We showed this second half what we're capable of doing, but we've got to put together that type of intensity, that type of belief for 48 minutes."
Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG -Victor Oladipo, SF - Justin 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), Andre Iguodala - questionable (left hip soreness), Derrick Jones Jr. - questionable (left ankle sprain), Chris Silva - questionable (left groin strain), KZ Okpala - out (personal reasons), Gabe Vincent - out (right shoulder sprain)
Aug. 22, 2020: Four Heat players scored 20 or more points as Miami built an 18-point halftime lead and held on down the stretch on its way to a 124-115 win.
Butler leading the way with 27 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He went just 5-for-16 from the field, but 17-for-20 from the free throw line as the Heat attempted an astounding 52 free throws as a team.
Goran Dragic finished with 24 points and six assists, going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc. Bam Adebayo added 22 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, while Tyler Herro scored 20 off the bench.
Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana with a game-high 34 points to go along with seven rebounds and 14 assists, going 11-for-17 from the field, 4-for-7 from 3-point range, and 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
T.J. Warren added 23 points, six rebounds, and five steals for Indiana, while Victor Oladipo contributed 20 points and four boards.
- The Pacers are 2-2 all-time in Game 4 after dropping the first three games of a series. They were swept by Boston in 2019 and Cleveland in 2017, but won Game 4 against Chicago in 2011 as Game 4 of the 1975 ABA Finals against Kentucky.
- After playing a total of 31 minutes over Games 1 and 2, Pacers guard Edmond Sumner did not see the floor in Game 3.
- Pacers All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis was scheduled to return to the NBA bubble in Orlando on Saturday. Sabonis has not played since the restart due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot and will have to quarantine in his hotel room for multiple days before he is cleared to join the team.
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
TNT - Spero Dedes (play-by-play), Stan Van Gundy (analyst), Rebecca Haarlow (sideline reporter)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Eddie Gill (analyst), Pat Boylan (studio host)