NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, January 4th (All times eastern)
Indiana Pacers (4-1) at Miami Heat (5-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The star-studded Miami Heat hit their first stumbling block of the season and look to regroup tonight versus the Indiana Pacers in the finale of a three-game homestand from AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami stormed out of the gates in winning its first five games, then came back down to earth with Monday's 100-92 loss versus the Southeast Division-rival Atlanta Hawks. LeBron James had 28 points, six assists and seven boards, while Chris Bosh added 19 points for Miami, which got 12 points and 10 assists from fellow star Dwyane Wade. Wade made only 4-of-17 from the field.
The Heat had an early 10-point lead until the Hawks switched to a zone defense to disrupt Miami's rhythm and tempo.
"We know a lot of teams are going to try to stop us from getting out on the break and stop our man-to-man offense and go to the zone," said James. "We have to continue to work at it with the limited amount of practice time that we have and continue to get better at it throughout the year."
Miami's 5-0 start was its best in franchise history, topping a 4-0 beginning back in 2004-05. After hosting the Pacers, the Heat will hit the road for five games against the Hawks, Nets, Warriors, Clippers and Nuggets.
Heat swingman Mike Miller could return soon and is recovering from hernia surgery performed this offseason.
Indiana has been playing well so far in 2011-12 with four wins over its first five games, and will continue a four-game road trip Wednesday night.
The Pacers improved to 1-1 on the trek with Monday's 108-94 victory in New Jersey thanks to 21 points from Paul George. Danny Granger finished with 15 points and six rebounds, while David West contributed 13 points and five rebounds for the Pacers, who bounced back from their first loss of the young season last Saturday at Detroit.
"It's always good to get a [win] on the road," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said. "We're very pleased with our effort."
Vogel's team shot a season-best 53 percent from the floor and a sizzling 62 percent (13-of-21) from three-point range and will close out the road swing Friday at Boston. In injury news for the Pacers, center Jeff Foster (back) is questionable for tonight's game and forward Jeff Pendergraph (knee) is listed as doubtful.
Miami took two of three meetings with Indiana a season ago and has won six of the past seven matchups between the teams. Indiana has lost eight of 10 and nine of its last 12 visits to south Florida.
01/04 10:33:52 ET