NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 15th (All times eastern)
Miami Heat (39-15) at Indiana Pacers (24-28), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Indiana Pacers have been more than satisfactory under interim head coach Frank Vogel, but they'll face a tough challenge when the star-studded Miami Heat pay a visit to Conseco Fieldhouse tonight.
Indiana is 7-1 since Vogel took over for Jim O'Brien and recorded its third straight win with Saturday's 103-97 victory in Milwaukee. Danny Granger scored 14 of his 30 points in the final quarter and Darren Collison added 22 points for the Pacers, who used a 14-0 run late in the game to snap a six-game losing streak to the Bucks.
"Our guys are starting to understand how good they are and they're taking care of their business in the fourth quarter with poise and patience," Vogel said.
Roy Hibbert delivered 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the win. Indiana's only loss under Vogel was a 117-112 setback at Miami on Feb. 8.
The Pacers, currently eighth in the East, have won five in a row at home and are 15-11 in Indy this season. In injury news for the team, Granger, who leads Indiana with 21.1 ppg, is probable tonight with a neck ailment.
Miami had an eight-game winning streak put on hold with Sunday's 85-82 loss in Boston, as Chris Bosh led the way with 24 points and 10 rebounds. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade netted 22 and 16 points, respectively, for the Heat, who had won four straight on the road and fell to 1-1 on a four-game trek. Reserve Mike Miller threw up a three-pointer at the buzzer, but it was off the mark.
"Whatever happens during the course of the game, you want to simply give yourself a chance there at the end, and we had a chance," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It could have swung either way, but we weren't able to get over that hump."
James also posted seven rebounds and seven assists during the battle between two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Miami, which leads the Southeast Division by five games ahead of Atlanta and Orlando, is 19-10 away from south Florida and will also visit Toronto on the road swing. It has also recorded a block in a team-best 263 consecutive games.
Spoelstra (129-89) sits third on the Heat's all-time wins list and is four wins from tying Kevin Loughery (133-159) for second. Pat Riley is first with a 454-395 ledger.
The 2010-11 season series between Miami and Indiana is tied at a game apiece, while the Heat have won six of the past nine meetings between the teams. The Heat have lost 15 of 18 contests at Conseco Fieldhouse, however.
02/15 10:37:31 ET