Bogdanovic, Turner lift Pacers to rout of Heat
MIAMI -- Erik Spoelstra was seething.
The Miami Heat coach, who has won two NBA titles but has also seen his share of horrible basketball as in last season’s 11-30 start, seemed as angry as he has ever been after Sunday night’s 120-95 loss to the Indiana Pacers at AmericanAirlines Arena.
The Pacers (9-8), of course, were thrilled to end their streak of six straight losses over three years in the building, but most of the postgame drama had to do with Spoelstra’s uncharacteristically curt press conference.
”I don’t have an answer to our unreliability,“ Spoelstra said after his team fell to 7-9, including 3-5 at home. ”We had one of our most inspiring efforts in Washington (a 91-88 win over the Wizards on Friday) and then this is the other side of us.
“One way or another, we are going to get to the bottom of it -- that’s pretty much my comment. I need to assess, look at the film and find some solutions.”
The Heat had no answers for forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who scored a game-high 26 points, or center Myles Turner, who added 25. But it wasn’t just those two -- Indiana as a team shot 60 percent from the floor for its easiest win of the season.
Turner, who made 11 of 14 shots from the floor, added seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks. He was also a game-best plus-30 while he was on the court.
Ironically, Turner made just 3 of 13 shots for seven points in his most recent performance before Sunday, which came Friday night against the Detroit Pistons.
”He missed some shots (against Detroit) and was a bit down about that,“ Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. ”But I told him, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing . You’re playing good basketball. We’re going to keep playing you.’
“Myles can shoot from the outside. Tonight, he was knocking down shots consistently, and our guards did a good job of getting him the ball when he was open.”
Miami, which fell to 3-5 at home, was led by 21 points from Wayne Ellington, who came off the bench and tied his career high with seven 3-pointers (in 12 tries).
But the Heat got subpar performances from three of its stars: shooting guard Dion Waiters, point guard Goran Dragic and center Hassan Whiteside.
Dragic, who was averaging 19 points entering Sunday, was held to eight points -- none after the first quarter
Whiteside, who was averaging 16.3 points and 14.3 rebounds and had seven double-doubles in 10 games, was saddled by a bad matchup with perimeter-shooting Turner. Whiteside, who plays primarily inside, finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Waiters, who was acquired last season, was averaging 16.3 points before going 0-for-10 against Indiana. It was his first scoreless game as a member of the Heat.
Pacers point guard Darren Collinson, who had 12 points and 10 assists, credited his backcourt mate Victor Oladipo for tight defense on Waiters, who was a game-worst minus-24 while he was on the court.
“Everyone has their nights,” Collison said. “(Waiters) is a good player. (But) Victor’s becoming a very good defensive player -- a two-way player.”
Miami took its first lead of the game in the second quarter. But the game turned when Indiana scored five points in the final 2.1 seconds of the first half as Turner hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key, and Thaddeus Young stole an inbounds pass from James Johnson before sticking a jumper.
That gave Indiana a 58-55 halftime lead, and Indiana took total control in the third quarter, using a 30-7 run to take a 90-68 lead heading into the fourth.
At that point, the game was virtually over, and the Heat was left to search for answers.
“We don’t know,” Dragic said when asked about Miami’s inconsistency. “Some days we show up like we played at Washington, and then the next game nobody recognizes us.”
NOTES: Pacers C Myles Turner set a career high for points in a half with 20 in the first 24 minutes. ... Heat veteran F Udonis Haslem made his first appearance of the season and scored two points. ... Pacers F Glenn Robinson III (left ankle) is out until at least mid-February. ... Miami is without SF Rodney McGruder and PF Okaro White, both out long term due to left leg injuries. ... Miami recalled rookie PG Derrick Walton Jr. from the G League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce, where he was averaging 15.3 points. He made two free throws on Sunday for his first NBA points. ... Miami on Wednesday hosts the Boston Celtics, who have the best record in the NBA. ... Indiana ends a two-game trip with Monday night’s game at the Orlando Magic.