Shaq powers Heat past Pacers
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Shaquille O’Neal tallied 23 points and 11
rebounds, and had an uncharacteristic night from the foul line, as Miami
rallied from a 14-point deficit in the third quarter to beat the Indiana
Pacers, 96-91, at American Airlines Arena.
O’Neal, who came into the game shooting 46.1 percent from the charity stripe,
hit 11-of-14 free throws to help the Heat to their seventh win in nine games.
Dwyane Wade added 22 points and eight rebounds, while Jason Williams scored 18
for Miami, which outrebounded the Pacers, 53-32, and beat Indiana for just the
second time in the last 16 meetings.
Stephen Jackson had 22 points and Peja Stojakovic scored 19 for the Pacers,
who lost for the fourth time in six contests.
The game turned ugly with 5:25 left in the second quarter when Udonis Haslem
and Jermaine O’Neal got involved in a pushing and shouting match. This came
after Haslem rebounded a missed jumper from Indiana’s Danny Granger.
Shaquille O’Neal innocently put his left hand around Jermaine O’Neal’s neck.
After the officials consulted, Haslem was whistled for an offensive foul, but
the Miami forward was incensed at the call and was ejected after arguing with
Ron Garretson. Haslem took off his shirt and threw it on the court in disgust
as he headed to the locker room.
A total of five technical fouls were called on the Heat, while Indiana had
A layup from Anthony Johnson pushed Indiana’s lead to 79-75 with 8:06 left in
the game, but the Heat rallied behind eight straight points. Shandon
Anderson’s three-point play capped the spurt with 6:30 remaining.
Jermaine O’Neal’s jumper tied the game again at 83, but Wade’s three-point
play and a Wayne Simien layup moved Miami to an 88-83 advantage, a lead the
Heat wouldn’t relinquish.
The exclamation point came when Shaq pounded down a two-handed jam on an
alley-oop off a pass from Wade to make the score 94-87 with 1:23 left.
The Pacers led 39-37 and widened the margin to 53-42 at the half. Indiana’s
advantage grew to 56-42, 52 seconds into the third quarter following a
Stojakovic free throw after a technical foul. It was 58-44 following a
Jermaine O’Neal layup, but the Heat outscored Indiana, 27-13 the rest of the
Shaq’s turnaround jumper in the final minute of the period tied the game at 71
going into the fourth.
The Pacers have been held under 100 points in 16 straight games…Shaq became
the 25th player to get 11,000 rebounds for a career…The Heat have won 16 of
their last 17 games versus the Eastern Conference, losing only to Detroit in
that stretch…Jamaal Tinsley had 10 points for Indiana…Antoine Walker
scored 11 for Miami.