Miami Heat-Indiana Pacers matchup could take major turn given latest injury news

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s matchup between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers could take a major turn given the latest injury news. Pacers star point guard Tyrese Haliburton is questionable to play, and he wasn’t spotted at shootaround ahead of the matchup.

The Heat and Pacers recently faced off against each other back on Nov. 30. The Heat ended up winning by a final score of 142-132 behind a terrific performance from star wing Jimmy Butler. He dropped 36 points, 11 rebounds and three assists while shooting 9-of-19 from the field and 18-of-20 from the line in 38 minutes of playing time.

Haliburton, meanwhile, had one of his best performances of the season in the loss. He scored 44 points while shooting 15-of-28 from the field and 6-of-16 from behind the 3-point line. Plus, the floor general finished with 10 assists, three steals and one block.

Miami and Indiana are quite close to each other in the Eastern Conference standings right now. The Heat own an 11-8 record, which has them as the No. 6 seed in the conference. The Pacers, on the other hand, are 9-8 and own the No. 7 seed, meaning Saturday’s game will have implications as the two teams battle for positioning, at least in the short term.

The Heat have had more success than the Pacers lately. Miami owns a 6-4 record over its last 10 games, while Indiana owns a 5-5 record during the same span and has lost two games in a row. Before losing to the Heat on Nov. 30, the Pacers lost to the Portland Trail Blazers by four points on Nov. 27.

The Heat would be catching a break if Haliburton were to sit out for Saturday’s game. After all, he’s arguably the Pacers’ best player, so Miami theoretically would have a better chance of coming away with a win if he were sidelined.

Following their rematch against the Pacers, the Heat will take on Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors on the road. The Raptors own a 9-11 record on the season and are fresh off a loss to Jalen Brunson and the New York Knicks on Friday.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.