GAME PREVIEW: Heat face Pacers in pivotal Sunday showdown

Heat Pacers
(Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

In the second of their final three regular season contests away from home, the Miami Heat will take on the Indiana Pacers Sunday evening inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., at 5:00 p.m. EST.

With only five regular season games left, Sunday’s showdown will mark both teams’ most important game of the regular season to date due to the standings. The Pacers are 0.5 games ahead of the Heat for the No. 6 seed–the final non-play-in spot–in the Eastern Conference. A Heat win would not only give them the No. 6 seed, but would clinch the head-to-head tiebreaker and the three-way tiebreaker involving the Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers–which could be pivotal if all three teams (within one game of each other) finish with the same record.

Miami is winners of four of its last five and nine of its last 13, including a 119-104 win Friday over the Houston Rockets. Tyler Herro returned to the lineup, scoring 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting with five rebounds and six assists in 25 minutes off the bench. Jimmy Butler scored 22 points and Bam Adebayo finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Indiana, meanwhile, is winners of four of its last six, seven of its last 11 and nine of its last 14. They secured a 126-112 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday. Tyrese Haliburton only attempted eight shots, but the Pacers were led by Pascal Siakam, Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner and T.J. McConnell.

The Pacers and Heat played each other twice in back-to-back games on Nov. 30 and Dec. 2; the Heat won the first game 142-132 while dropping the second 144-129.

Can the Heat secure a much-needed win–their most important of the season? Only time will tell!

Injury Report (at the time of this publishing):

Miami Heat:

  • Josh Richardson (shoulder) — OUT
  • Orlando Robinson (back) — QUESTIONABLE

Indiana Pacers:

  • Tyrese Haliburton (back) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Quenton Jackson (G-League) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Bennedict Mathurin (shoulder) — OUT
  • Jalen Smith (ankle) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Oscar Tshiebwe (G-League) — QUESTIONABLE
  • Isaiah Wong (G-League) — QUESTIONABLE

Projected Starting 5:

Miami Heat:

  • Terry Rozier, G
  • Duncan Robinson, G
  • Jimmy Butler, F
  • Nikola Jovic, F
  • Bam Adebayo, C

Indiana Pacers:

  • Tyrese Haliburton, G
  • Andrew Nembhard, G
  • Aaron Nesmith, F
  • Pascal Siakam, F
  • Myles Turner, C

Betting Lines (at the time of this publishing):

  • Spread: Pacers -2
  • O/U: 227.5

Check out those lines and more at Fanduel Sportsbook!

Broadcast Info:

  • Tipoff: 5:00 p.m. EST
  • TV: Bally Sports Sun
  • Radio: AM 560 Sports WQAM & The HEAT Radio Network (Jason Jackson)
  • Spanish Radio: WAQI 710 AM & The HEAT Spanish Radio Network (Joe Pujala)


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heat for life

Big game for 6th seed


Time to shit or get off the pot. Otherwise, 76ers in play-in round.


Well, its a show time, Jimmy and Bam.

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