Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers Game Recap: Playoff Hungry

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(Miami, FL) – In their first home contest following the 2017 NBA All-Star break, the Miami Heat (27-32) put together another impressive performance on Saturday night as they muscled their way to a 113-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers (30-29) at American Airlines Arena.

This was the Heat’s 16th win in their last 18 games, including their ninth home victory in their previous 10 contests.

Three Heat players had at least 20 points on the night, led by star center Hassan Whiteside‘s 22 points (6-of-12 from the field and an eye-opening 10-of-13 from the free-throw line) and 17 rebounds in yet another dominant performance.

“Guys came out here hungry. We’re trying to make a playoff push, so guys know what’s at stake. Different nights require different things,” Whiteside said. “Just keep going, you know. Build them up in the win column and get in these playoffs.”

Whiteside, who only had two points on a dismal 1-of-9 shooting in Friday night’s road win over the Atlanta Hawks, made Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra proud of how his center rebounded on offense Saturday against the Pacers.

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“None of us thought that he was struggling. That’s the problem with all the statistics and metrics that are out there right now,” Spoelstra said. “People are still being evaluated by points, rebounds and things of that nature. But there are so many other winning plays you can make, and I thought he brought a terrific disposition.”

Shooting guard Dion Waiters and point guard Goran Dragic continued to do damage on the court, as the two had 22 and 21 points, respectively, and shot a combined 16-of-27 from the field.

“We’re sharing the ball. Everybody’s involved and we have guys who can attack,” Dragic said of his team’s recent success. “Every night it’s going to be somebody different.”

For the Pacers, center Myles Turner led his team with 18 points and seven rebounds, while point guard Jeff Teague had 16 points and six assists of his own in a losing effort.

Indiana was forced to play most of the second half of Saturday night’s game without All-Star forward Paul George, who was ejected following his second technical foul early in the third quarter.

Up next, the Heat will head back on the road Monday night to take on the Dallas Mavericks (23-35) at American Airlines Center. The contest, which is scheduled to tip off shortly after 8:30 p.m. ET, will be broadcast nationally on TNT and live locally on Fox Sports Sun.
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Andrew Salmi is a recent graduate of California State University, Fullerton after he previously attended Arizona State University. He is proud to be a staff writer for Heat Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewsalmi.