Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) – The Indiana Pacers pounded the glass against
their nemesis of the last three seasons to exact just a tad of revenge.
Chris Copeland’s layup with 42.8 seconds remaining gave the Pacers a late lead
and they sunk their foul shots in the closing moments to hang on for an 81-75
victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
Indiana, which had fallen to Miami in the past three playoffs, including the
last two Eastern Conference finals, outrebounded Miami 53-28, held a 16-6
advantage on the offensive glass and posted a 19-8 spread in second chance
Following Copeland’s powerful take to the basket, Mario Chalmers was called
for an offensive foul. Donald Sloan and Roy Hibbert then sunk a pair of foul
shots each to seal the outcome.
“We just battled as hard as we could,” said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. “I
think they just had an off night, and our guys competed their tails off.”
Without a departed LeBron James and an injured Paul George, this one obviously
had a different feel than those three prior playoff showdowns. Indiana
starters David West and George Hill have yet to take the floor this season and
Lance Stephenson left for Charlotte during the offseason.
Hibbert tallied 16 points and 15 rebounds, Copeland netted 17 and Sloan added
15 points and six boards for the Pacers, who have won two straight on the
heels of a six-game losing streak.
It was Indiana’s first road win of the season.
Dwyane Wade had 20 points and Shawne Williams hit four 3-pointers en route to
15 points for Miami, which has dropped three of its last five since beginning
the year 3-0.
“We’re going to learn from our mistakes. This was a bad one,” Miami’s Chris
Ian Mahinmi’s three-point play staked the Pacers to a 72-65 advantage with
7:04 to play, but they went the next 5:24 without a point as a 7-0 Miami
flurry tied the game.
A Chalmers layup knotted the contest with 4:23 left, but neither team scored
again until Sloan rattled home a left wing triple. Wade answered with a trey
at the other end to tie the game at 75-75.
Miami led 26-24 following a quarter of play and took a 42-41 edge into the
It remained a nip-and-tuck affair in the third, with neither team leading by
more than four points until a Copeland three in the final minute helped give
Indiana a 63-58 margin heading into the fourth.
After Wade recorded his first bucket since the 4:35 mark of the first with
8:08 to play, Lavoy Allen hit two free throws prior to Mahinmi’s three-point
play for Indiana’s seven-point spread.
Hibbert has made 20 consecutive foul shots … Indiana shot just 37.5 percent
(30-of-80) from the floor, but was 13-of-15 from the charity stripe … Miami
scored 16 points off 16 Indiana turnovers.