Pacers beat Heat behind forced turnovers


Last night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Indiana Pacers dismantled the Miami Heat after forcing 19 turnovers and holding the Heat to just 83 points.

It took a little while, but Monta Ellis found his groove in an Indiana uniform. The free agent signing led all scorers with 24 points on 10/18 shooting last night to propel the Pacers to a 96-83 win. Paul George added a decent 23 points and 8 boards, but as far as a second star goes, Ian Mahinmi beats everyone out with an incredible 18 point, 12 rebound performance on 7/9 shooting.

Neither team shot the ball well, but Miami was inevitably led in scoring by Chris Bosh (23) followed by Dwyane Wade (20) though the two were a joint 18-42 from the field. Bosh notched a double-double with 23 points and 10 boards, but it was not enough to close down a hungry Indiana team.

The Good
The Pacers forced 13 steals, up from their average of just over 8 per game, and their 19 forced turnovers as a team helped swing momentum their way. It was sloppy basketball, but it was an important W in the column in an extremely tight eastern conference.

Indiana outscored Miami 13-4 on fast break points, and 42-34 in the paint, showing that last night was just as much about offense as it was closing down on defense. Additionally, an underrated aspect of last night was the amount of FT’s the Pacers hit, knocking down 18/20 en route to a 13 point win.

The Bad
The Blue & Gold didn’t shoot very well at just 42% from the floor, and they were even worse from beyond the arc at just 21.4% (6/28), but it remains an overlooked aspect because of the home win.

One of the only negatives was the amount of blocked shots by Miami on defense. With Hassan Whiteside active, that number was always going to be high as he leads the league by over one block per game, but it was something that the Pacers needed to be weary of when attacking the paint.

It’s an extremely quick turnaround for Indiana with a road trip to Detroit tonight to face the Pistons at the Palace. However, it remains important to keep heading down the right direction to bounce back from the three-game losing streak prior to last night.