GAME PREVIEW: Heat look for two-game series sweep over Pacers

Heat Pacers
The Miami Heat beat the high-octane Indiana Pacers 142-132 in their first meeting earlier this week. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Miami Heat look to sweep the Indiana Pacers Saturday in the second of two back-to-back home games inside Kaseya Center in Miami, Fla.

The two Eastern Conference foes met Thursday, in what ultimately turned out to be one of the Heat’s most exciting comeback victories of the season. Trailing by as many as 13, they scored 78 second-half points–including 45 points in the fourth quarter–en route to a 142-132 victory.

It marked the sixth time in franchise history Miami’s scored over 140 points in a regular season game; the last time it accomplished that feat was on April 5, 2022, against the Charlotte Hornets, where it cobbled together 144 points in a 29-point win.

Thursday’s win snapped the Heat’s three-game losing streak. The Pacers have lost four of their last six games and five of their last eight; they are 3-3 on the road this season while the Heat are 4-2 at home.

Tuesday’s second-half splurge was without Bam Adebayo, who exited Thursday’s game with a hip injury in the first half, and Tyler Herro, who’s missed the last three weeks.

The run was fueled by Jimmy Butler, who had 24 second-half points, and Miami’s bench–particularly Jaime Jaime Jaquez Jr. (14 fourth-quarter points), Josh Richardson and Caleb Martin. Tyrese Haliburton, who’s questionable with a knee injury, was stellar in Thursday’s contest, tallying 44 points on 15-of-28 shooting, including 6-of-16 from beyond the arc with 10 assists.

Jaquez has scored double figures in six straight games and in 11 of his last 12 games. Will he be able to keep that streak going Saturday without Adebayo,? Time will tell … let’s dive into some additional details from this game!

Injury Report:

Miami Heat:

  • Bam Adebayo (hip) — OUT
  • Jimmy Butler (ankle) — PROBABLE
  • R.J. Hampton (two-way) — OUT
  • Tyler Herro (ankle) — OUT
  • Dru Smith (ankle) — OUT

Indiana Pacers:

  • Kendall Brown (G-League) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Tyrese Haliburton (knee) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Jalen Smith (knee) — OUT
  • Oscar Tshiebwe (G-League) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Isaiah Wong (G-League) — QUESTIONABLE

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

  • Kyle Lowry, G
  • Duncan Robinson, G/F
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Haywood Highsmith, F
  • Kevin Love, F

Indiana Pacers:

  • Andrew Nembhard, G
  • Buddy Hield, G
  • Bruce Brown, G/F
  • Obi Toppin, F
  • Myles Turner, C

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

  • Heat -5 (-112)
  • O/U: 237 (O: -110; U: -110)
  • ML: Heat -215, Pacers +180

Lines courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook.

***

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Alien

In the absence of Bam, Heat players need to work on the boards collectively. Who, Halliburton out!

ManilaHeat

Heat will be making adjustments on Haliburton. Or he’s gonna drop 40. But we still win hehe. 20th game. Let’s go 12-8 with another Jimmy and Jaime show.

ManilaHeat

Ooh…so Hali is not playing? So we win by 20? Go Heat!

SunManFromDogBone

I hope ORob gets to play more instead of Bryant. I’m not expecting another game like last one. Indiana will be better prepared this time. If our defense, offensive flow and three point shooting are good we have a chance. If not, fogetaboutit!
GO HEAT!!!

Alien

I will be looking out for any adjustment the Pacers make in this game from last game or if they play as they played in the last game hoping that the Heat will not be able to match their speed, twice in a role. Will they double team on JJJ? Will they drive more to the paint instead of settling for 3s, in the hope of putting the Heat in early foul trouble? Will they want to put JJJ or Butler or Lowry in early foul trouble? How will they play Robinson again? Will they apply court pressure on the Heat early in the game?What sub changes are they likely to make? How many minutes is Halliburton going to play? Their center, Turner was not much of an impact in the last game. Will he be more aggressive in the paint area and on the boards tonight? And also I will be watching what changes in strategy the Heat make also before and after the half?
Go Heat, Go!

Last edited 2 months ago by Alien
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