The Miami HEAT defeated the Indiana Pacers 112-108 Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Goran Dragić led the way for the HEAT with 23 points. Four other players scored in double-figures for Miami.
1. 7-11 is Open
After an uneven showing in the season opener against the Magic, the dynamic backcourt duo of Dragić and Dion Waiters made amends in a big way.
Let’s review Dragić’s performance:
Behind-the-back finishes in transition? Check.
Nifty passes? Of course.
Treys? Yup, two of them to be exact.
You name it; he did it.
In addition to his 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting, the Slovenian also amassed five boards and three assists.
Waiters, on the other hand, primarily attacked the basket and came through with some very difficult finishes at the rim.
While he might have had more impressive plays, none were as important as this steal and score he had with less than two minutes to play.
Waiters finished with 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting, two assists, two steals and a block.
2. The New Captain
To say James Johnson made an impact on both ends of the floor would be an understatement. Whether he was defending multiple guys, including Thaddeus Young and Domantas Sabonis, or posterizing Victor Oladipo…
…he made sure his presence was felt.
In all, Johnson tallied 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting, a team-high eight assists, four rebounds and a team-high five blocks.
3. Olynyk Goes Off in the Second Quarter
Simply put, Kelly Olynyk changed the complexion of the game with his superb play in the second quarter. For starters, he drew two offensive fouls and did a nice job of switching and contesting quicker perimeter players. On the flip side of the ball, he knocked down a few outside shots and set up his teammates with some solid feeds. In fact, the big man tallied 10 points, two boards and two assists in the period.
Oh, and let’s not forget this crazy 3-pointer in the third quarter:
It was just a great all-around performance from start to finish. As such, Olynyk accumulated 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting, a team-high nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.
-Like Olynyk, Justise Winslow helped Miami capture the lead in the second quarter. In addition to knocking down a few jumpers, the 21-year-old also had a tough drive over T.J. Leaf early in the period.
That said, his best play of the night came on the defensive end.
With 5:58 to play in the second quarter, Winslow met Bojan Bogdanović at the rim, stuffed him and hit it ahead to Tyler Johnson. Dragić then finished it from there in transition.
Winslow ended up with six points, six rebounds, a steal and that aforementioned block.
-Hassan Whiteside (left knee contusion), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery), A.J. Hammons and Derrick Walton Jr. were inactive.
-The HEAT will continue their season-long homestand on Monday against the Hawks at 7:30 PM. Tickets for that game can be found here.