Pacers pound Heat
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Danny Granger netted 22 points and Mike
Dunleavy Jr. added 20 as the Indiana Pacers routed the Miami Heat, 95-70, at
Jermaine O’Neal posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds while
Troy Murphy chipped in 11 points for the Pacers, who are fighting for one of
the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. They had dropped 13 of 14
before this much-needed win.
The Pacers fell into a virtual tie with Orlando for the seventh spot in the
Eastern Conference. Indiana is a half-game ahead of ninth seed New Jersey.
Shaquille O’Neal had 13 points for Miami, which had won 10 of 11 heading into
this contest. No other teammate finished in double figures, however. The Heat
remained a half-game behind Washington for first place in the Southeast
“Tonight we put together a great defensive effort,” Granger said. “We were
helping each other out on Shaq.”
Indiana jumped all over the Heat, riding Dunleavy’s 15-point first-quarter
performance to establish a 33-9 advantage.
The key was a 15-0 surge to turn a seven-point lead into a commanding 29-7
advantage. Dunleavy had a pair of three- pointers in the run, which O’Neal
capped with a jumper with 3:41 on the clock.
The Pacers shot 71 percent over the first 12 minutes, compared to 17 percent
for the opposition.
“We just did not bring anything at all to the game and with their sense of
urgency, the game was really over in the first quarter,” Heat head coach Pat
Miami gained its composure in the second frame, and outscored Indiana 23-19 to
make it 52-32 at the break.
The hole was just too great out of which to climb, though.
The Heat were able to trim their deficit to 15 following Shaq’s hook shot with
8:13 to play in the third, but Indiana countered immediately with an 11-1 run
to push it to 70-45.
The home team finished the third up 72-49, and cruised to the finish line.
Miami’s Alonzo Mourning (knee) did not play in this game…Miami is 14-19 away
from South Beach this season…Jamaal Tinsley had eight assists for the