Rusty Pacers cruise past weary Heat 94-81
The Indiana Pacers bounced back from a sluggish start with a 26-5 run spanning the end of the second and start of the third quarters that propelled them to a 94-81 victory over the weary Miami Heat on Thursday night in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.
The long break showed early, with the Pacers committing 10 turnovers in the first half and struggling to execute their offense for much of the game.
Just two days removed from finishing a grueling seven-game series against New Orleans, the Heat didn't have the energy to capitalize.
Miami shot just 38 percent from the field, missing countless layups and coming up short on jumpers, a sign of fatigue.
Game 2 is Saturday in Indianapolis.
Rookie Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 22 points and seven rebounds. Caron Butler added 14 points and nine rebounds for Miami, which got the fast start it wanted before Jamaal Tinsley buried them with hot shooting from the outside.
Miami took a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes as Indiana opened the game cold from the field. Several of the Heat players were breathing heavy after the quick start and Indiana slowly started to wear down the younger team.
Lamar Odom's jumper with 3:42 to play in the second quarter brought the Heat within 34-32, and that's when the Pacers went on their big run.
Artest got things started with two jumpers and a free throw and Tinsley took over from there.
The point guard has worked hard this season to improve his outside shooting, and it showed Thursday night. Tinsley hit one 3 in the second quarter, and added two more at the start of the third as Indiana's lead ballooned to 60-37 with just under eight minutes to play in the third.
Tinsley was 5-for-6 from 3-point range and scored a playoff career-high 17 points.
The Heat didn't go quietly. They closed the third quarter with a 7-2 run and Wade got hot in the fourth to help Miami chip away at the lead. His acrobatic drive with 4:32 to go made it 82-74, but Reggie Miller hit a 3-pointer a minute later for a 13-point lead that put the game out of reach.
It was Indiana's 10th straight win over the Heat and fourth in a row this season.