The Miami Heat (27-10) put the Indiana Pacers (23-15) on their heels the entire game, causing past Indiana, 122-108.
Entering the half with a 62-49 lead, the Heat put the nail on the coffin in the third quarter, outscoring Indiana 38-23. Tyler Herro led the Heat in scoring with 19 points. Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with 27 points.
Other notable players were Bam Adebayo, who finished with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and a +31 plus-minus. Jimmy Butler added 14 points on 5-6 shooting, and Derrick Jones Jr., who is continuing to do his thing offensively and defensively, totaled 18 points, 2 steals, and 2 blocks on 50 percent shooting.
Miami had a hot shooting night, going 43-81 (53.1%) shooting and 16-31 (42.1%) from three-point range. The Heat also won the rebounding battle (48-45) and assist battle (28-25).
This was the second time the Heat and Pacers have matched up this season, the previous game going to Miami, with Goran Dragic nailing a clutch floater in the final seconds of regulation to seal a home victory.
Miami’s blowout wasn’t the headline of the game, Jimmy Butler and T.J. Warren got into two scuffles during the game, ultimately leading both of their ejections. After the game, Jimmy Butler was asked about the beef with Warren, saying: “He’s not even in my f****** league.”
Both are likely to face a fine for the fight.
The Miami Heat also moved into the second seed in the Eastern Conference, passing the Boston Celtics as they suffered a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Takeaways From The Road Victory:
1) Miami’s next game vs Indiana is going to be an interesting one:
Jimmy Butler also went to Instagram to challenge T.J. Warren who had been going back and forth the entire game. Warren only finished with 3 points and Butler with 14. With Victor Oladipo expected to return in late January, the March 20th game against the Pacers is going to be a fan favorite for Heat fans.
2) Justice Winslow is back, but off to a cold start:
Justice Winslow made his return to the rotation for the first time after missing 15 consecutive games with a lower-back bone bruise. Winslow did not have his best game statistically, recording 0 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in 15 minutes and 33 seconds of action.
It is going to be interesting to see how Coach Erik Spoelstra will fit Winslow in the rotation. Will we see Winslow back to playing at the Forward position or will he remain at the guard spot which he played while Goran Dragic was out with an injury last season.
3) Kelly Olynyk, welcome to the DNP squad:
Kelly Olynyk was a DNP against Indiana for the second straight game, sitting in the home win against the Portland Trailblazers. Against Portland, James Johnson took his spot in the rotation, Justice Winslow took his spot against Indiana. Olynyk’s inconsistency was a major factor to why he is now not part of the rotation, shooting a career worse 37.1% from three-point range.
Coach Spo made this decision not surprising after being limited to single-digit minutes in five of the last eight games. We can expect him to continue and be a DNP unless one of Miami’s big-men gets hurt.
Miami will be back in action on Friday as they travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets. Indiana will also play on Friday against the Chicago Bulls on the road.