Running thoughts: Heat 114, Pacers 106

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 114-106 loss to the Miami Heat Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • The Pacers announced Wednesday afternoon that Myles Turner would miss the two games scheduled this week and would be reevaluated. He injured his right elbow on a dunk in Monday’s win over Milwaukee.
  • Miami forward James Johnsons was suspended for tonight’s game without pay by the NBA for his role in exchanging punches with Toronto’s Serge Ibaka last night. Dion Waiters (left ankle sprain), Justise Winslow (left knee strain), Okaro White (left foot surgery), and Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) were all ruled out before the game.
  • Erik Spoelstra is understandably furious after an official allowed the Pacers to re-enter the ball despite an inbounding violation caused by miscommunication. He was T’d up 9:48 into the game by crew leader Derrick Stafford despite it being No. 50 Gediminas Petraitis, in his third season as a full-time official, getting verbally harassed.
  • Spoelstra is undoubtedly a top five coach in the NBA. He’s fourth on my list behind Gregg Popovich, Steve Kerr, and Brad Stevens. And still, I don’t think he gets enough credit.
  • The Heat went on a 12-2 run to move ahead 23-13. I’m not surprised by the fast start, but will they fade in the second half? They played last night in Toronto, had to clear customs, and then arrived at their hotel around 2:30 am, according to members of the Heat staff.
  • Interesting how Joe Young, Cory Joseph, and Al Jefferson all were inserted into the game before Lance Stephenson, the team’s sixth man.
  • The Pacers yielded 38 first-quarter points by the Miami Heat on 68-percent shooting. They trailed by 12 after a disappointing opening period.
  • Frustrated with consecutive questionable calls, Pacers coach Nate McMillan was assessed his third technical foul of the season. The foul shots pushed the Heat’s lead to 16, 53-37.
  • Pacers were 0-7 from range in the first half, the Heat made 5 of 14 attempts. “If we don’t make threes, we can’t win,” assistant Bill Bayno said during his halftime injury on FSI.
  • Pacers not crisp out of the locker room. Two turnovers just over a minute in…
  • Pacers rattled off 11 points in a row to trim its deficit from 13 to 2, 65-63. Still more than 16 minutes left, though.
  • After 11 misses as a team, Stephenson finally connects on their first (and only) 3-pointer of the night … with just 56 seconds left in the third. Fewest threes made in a game this season was three, one week ago in Milwaukee.
  • Sabonis dealt with foul trouble throughout the night. He had four halfway through the third, then returned two minutes into the fourth.
  • Stephenson tied the game at 97 with five minutes left. That was the closest the Pacers had been since the first quarter.
  • Lance: “When it was tied I thought we had them because they’re playing a back-to-back and we thought their legs would get a little bit tired. But they had another boost in them and kept hitting shots.”
  • More Lance: “We gonna have those days but the main thing is that we was still in the game, we still had a chance, we still was locking in on defense. They just made incredible shots, we give it up to them.”
  • It was the worst shooting night of the season for the Pacers from beyond the arc. They missed 17-of-18 attempts and were outscored by 36 points. All that despite staying in attack mode in the second half to compensate. They outscored the Heat in the paint, 72-40, but it wasn’t enough.
  • Darren Collison (7 points, 3 assists): “You’re going to have your bad shooting nights here and there but you have to make up for it in other ways. We did miss some shot but a lot of it came due to lack of ball movement.”
  • Oladipo led all scorers with 26 points. But how about the Heat, only playing eight guys and seven scored 11 or more points. The eighth player – he had eight.
  • Notable: Despite being cut by the team, his name remains above his locker and his game-day gear was on his chair just like normal. They did the same thing for Ike Anigbogu, who is in Fort Wayne with the Mad Ants. Still there — even when they aren’t there.
  • Miami’s win snaps a 10-game losing streak at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; its last win in Indy was back on Feb. 14, 2012. Indiana still owns a 44-10 all-time record at home in the series.
  • The Pacers are drop to 4-4 this season without Turner, who averages 2.24 blocks per game.
  • Up next: The Pacers (21-20), now halfway through the regular season, conclude their four-game homestand on Friday against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night. Then, they fly west for a five-game road trip.
  • Pacers President Kevin Pritchard isn’t planning on addressing the first half of the season until after the trade deadline, which is Feb. 8 at 3 pm ET.

[Frank McGrath/PS&E]

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