Heat-Pacers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 07, 2013
On their way to an NBA title last season, the Miami Heat avoided an early scare and eliminated the Indiana Pacers in the second round. In their first meeting since that series, the Heat will try to snap the Pacers' longest home winning streak in nearly three years Tuesday night. Miami trailed Indiana 2-1 in an Eastern Conference semifinal series in 2012 before outscoring the Pacers by an average of 17.3 points while reeling off three wins in a row - two in Indianapolis. Now, the Heat (23-9) are looking to end Indiana's seven-game home winning streak, the club's longest since an eight-game run Feb. 27-March 30, 2010. Miami is 9-35 in Indianapolis during the regular season and just 7-6 on the road this season heading into its second six-game road trip of 2012-13. The team went 4-2 during the previous one Nov. 9-17. "We're going to see where we're at," said Chris Bosh, who missed all but Game 1 of the playoff series versus Indiana due to an abdominal strain. "Trips are always a test." The Heat are coming off Sunday's 99-71 win over lowly Washington, during which they scored the game's final 21 points and allowed their lowest total of the season. They're still seeking improvement defensively after allowing 105.6 points per game on 46.5 percent shooting while losing three of their previous five. Opponents are averaging 100.8 points and shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range in Miami's road games. "We understand that if we want to win, ultimately we have to defend," said LeBron James, who has 32.3 points per game over the past three away contests. James averaged 30.0 points and 10.8 rebounds against the Pacers in the playoffs, while Dwyane Wade stepped up with 33.0 on 61.5 percent shooting over the last three games. Wade scored 41 with 10 rebounds in a 105-93 road win in Game 6. The Heat scored 75 points in each of their losses in Games 2 and 3. The Pacers (20-14) remain one of the better defensive teams in the league, yielding an average of 89.8 points on NBA-low 41.4 percent shooting. They've been even better during their home winning streak, allowing 83.6 points per contest and 39.7 percent from the floor. "Coach (Frank Vogel) is holding us accountable to protect our home court," guard George Hill said. "Like he says, this is supposed to be sacred ground, something we have to cherish when other people come into this arena. It takes all of us, and that's what we're buying into." The Pacers signed Vogel - 82-56 in three seasons - to a contract extension Monday, although the length and terms weren't announced. That was two days after Indiana extended its home win streak with a 95-80 victory over Milwaukee. Roy Hibbert had 20 points and 15 rebounds - 11 on the offensive glass to come within one of the franchise record. "I just wanted to carve out some space and try to get as many offensive rebounds as possible," said Hibbert, who averaged 12.3 points and 11.5 boards against the Heat in the postseason. "Early in the season, I'd catch the rebound and I'd just go back up real soft." Hill is trying to shake off the effects of a groin injury that sidelined him for three games before he scored 14 points on 7-of-16 shooting against the Bucks. "It wasn't 100 percent, but I'll take it for what it is and keep trying to get better," Hill said.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Twitter, Facebook report engagement decline during Super Bowl

Steve Spurrier becomes special assistant to South Carolina AD

Brent Musberger wants you to bet on Joe Lunardi’s bracketology

Unranked Duke uses big first half to beat No.13 Louisville

MLB reportedly close to rule preventing collisions at second base

USOC says athletes concern about Zika shouldn't attend Games


Von Miller shares support for embattled Johnny Manziel

The Panthers had to use a silent snap count at the Super Bowl

Report: Lakers would fire Byron Scott to hire Luke Walton

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Seahawks’ Frank Clark rips Cam Newton ‘that boy a b—‘

Report: Tom Thibodeau has 'always wanted' Knicks job

Daniel Bryan says goodbye to WWE during teary retirement speech

Paul George delivers great line about driving by Kobe Bryant

WATCH: Oklahoma beats Texas on Buddy Hield's 3-pointer

Andre Drummond hits 70-foot buzzer beater to end 3rd quarter

Duke's Allen appears to intentionally trip Louisville's Spaulding

Candidates for New York Knicks head coaching job

Attorney alleges Johnny Manziel ruptured ex-girlfriend's eardrum

Jeanie Buss may clean house in Lakers’ front office

Lisa Ann wants to reward Emmanuel Sanders for Super Bowl win

WWE Superstar Daniel Bryan to announce retirement

Nine best and worst players from 2015 NFL playoffs

Rodman wants Phil Jackson to know he’s ready to coach Knicks

Wade Phillips trolls Cam Newton with dabbing tweet

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Report: Marshawn Lynch plans to retire

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker