Pacers Travel to Miami

Despite coming off a 2-4 road trip, the Miami Heat returned home earlier this week feeling optimistic after posting their first back-to-back wins of the season.

Any good feelings have likely disappeared, however, following another frustrating loss.

Miami (6-16) is trying hard to stay positive despite having one of the worst records in the NBA as it hosts the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Miami –5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 208 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 74% of bets for this game have been placed on Miami -5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

After losing five straight games at the start of December, including the first four of a road trip, the Heat closed the stretch with wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns. Miami, however, got off to a slow start Thursday in a 104-91 loss to the Washington Wizards and fell to an Eastern Conference-worst 2-7 at home.

The Heat scored just 16 points in the opening quarter and never recovered. Chris Quinn scored a career-high 22 points off the bench while Dwyane Wade was limited to 17 and Shaquille O'Neal took just six shots and had seven points and six boards.

"There's no excuses," coach Pat Riley said. "There are none. I have none. The players should have none. ... Tonight, we didn't hardly even try."

Miami is tied with New York and Memphis for the second-worst mark in the NBA.

Wade failed to score at least 31 points for the first time in four games. He was just 5-of-11 from the field Thursday after attempting at least 20 shots in his previous five games.

"Everyone comes in and understands that we can do better," Wade said. "We see flashes of it ... But like coach said, it's a fine line right now. We can either take a step to the right and be a great team, or take a step to the left and be one of the worst teams in the league. Right now we've just got to get closer to that step to the right."

O'Neal's effort was just as puzzling - he's taken 10 shots or less in each of his last nine games. He entered the season getting nearly 18 a game over his career.

The Heat have won three straight at home against the Pacers (11-12), who are 6-5 on the road. Miami played without an injured Wade in an 87-85 loss on Nov. 2 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Indiana has alternated wins and losses in its last eight games, falling 104-93 to the Toronto Raptors on Friday. It was the first time in six games the Pacers were held below 100 points.

Mike Dunleavy scored 23 points and Jamaal Tinsley added 19 and 10 assists. Indiana led 75-69 at the end of the third quarter, but the Pacers shot just 7-of-21 from the field in the fourth quarter.

"We left the door open and all of a sudden with their run we found ourselves down," said Danny Granger, who had 15 points and nine rebounds. "We've just got to do a better job on defense and stop these fourth quarter collapses. We now have to get our heads together and go to work in Miami."

Granger, who leads the Pacers in scoring with 17.1 points per game, scored 25 against the Heat in November. He's averaging just 11.7 points in his last three contests overall.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NBA Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NBA Basketball teams
 - NBA Basketball standings
 - NBA Basketball schedule
 - NBA Basketball scoreboard
 - NBA Basketball injuries
 - NBA Basketball matchups
 - NBA Basketball stats
 - NBA Basketball odds
 - NBA Basketball public betting chart
 - NBA Basketball news wire
 - NBA Basketball top stories
 - NBA Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NBA Basketball predictions
 - Expert NBA Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NBA Basketball Home

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Warriors vs. Spurs Game 4 Pick Will the Golden State Warriors continue their dominance of the San Antonio Spurs when they meet up in Game...
Thumbnail Celtics vs. Cavs Game 3 Pick Will the Cleveland Cavaliers show any mercy to the Boston Celtics when the two meet in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at...
Thumbnail Warriors vs. Spurs Game 3 Pick As the Western Conference Finals shift to the home of the San Antonio Spurs, will they be able to hang with the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the series tonight...
Thumbnail Cavs vs. Celtics Game 2 Pick Will the Cleveland Cavaliers cruise to another big win when they face the Boston Celtics in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals tonight at...
Thumbnail NBA Playoffs: Home Court Importance The playoffs are heating up, with thrilling games being played on a regular basis. Because it’s not easy to predict the outcomes of these matches, people have...

NBA Headlines

  • ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) A person familiar with the negotiations says the Orlando Magic have agreed to hire Toronto general manager Jeff Weltman as the new president of basketball operations.
    The p...
  • SAN ANTONIO (AP) Spurs leading scorer Kawhi Leonard will not play Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors with San Antonio on the brink of elimination.
    Golden State leads the Western Confere...
  • INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) LeBron James kept a low profile Monday, much like he did in Game 3.
    James did not address the media a day after one of the worst postseason games of his career. He sco...
  • Oklahoma City center Enes Kanter said Monday he routinely received death threats for criticizing the government of his native Turkey, and he may seek an expedited process toward becoming a U.S. cit...
  • SAN ANTONIO (AP) There was a mad scramble at the Spurs practice during the Western Conference finals, a flurry of activity to position cameras and get recording devices ready to document essential...

NBA Team Pages