National Basketball Association
Miami at Indiana
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
The Indiana Pacers just completed a five-game road trip that put them up against some of the top teams in the Western Conference. Their reward for posting a 3-2 record on that excursion is a return home to host the defending champion Miami Heat on Tuesday. Indiana took the Heat to seven games in the Eastern Conference finals last spring before falling just short and has been waiting for another crack at LeBron James and company.
While some of the Pacers players were upset with the way the road trip ended - a 118-94 loss at Oklahoma City - coach Frank Vogel saw the trip as a positive overall. “It was a good trip,” Vogel said. “You’re playing four of the top teams in the Western Conference in their building, two of them on the second night of a back-to-back, on a nine-day trip. That’s a brutal schedule.” The Heat are coming to the end of a four-game road trip and knocked off Minnesota and Detroit by a combined 36 points on Saturday and Sunday.
7 p.m. ET, NBATV, Sun Sports (Miami), FSN IndianaABOUT THE HEAT (16-5):
Miami looked lifeless is back-to-back losses last week but got Dwyane Wade back from the flu on Saturday and watched as James flirted with triple-doubles against both the Timberwolves and the Pistons. James is more focused on fixing the small issues with his own team than getting too worked up about the matchup with the Pacers. “Obviously, everybody is going to make it as a marquee game on Tuesday but I don’t really get too much involved in regular-season matchups, especially early in December,” James said. “They’re a great team right now, the way they’re playing basketball. We’re trying to get healthy, trying to get to our full potential.”ABOUT THE PACERS (18-3):
Indiana built up its top record in the Eastern Conference largely on the strength of its team defense and the brilliance of Paul George. While George continues to excel at the offensive end, the team defense surrendered at least 100 points in four of the five games on the trip after allowing an opponent to reach the century mark just once in the first 16 games. The Pacers allowed the Thunder to shoot a season-high 61 percent in Sunday’s setback and George (32 points) was the only player to score more than 12 for Indiana.BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Pacers took two of the three regular-season meeting in 2012-13 - both at home.
2. Miami F Michael Beasley (hamstring) sat out the last two games and is questionable for Tuesday.
3. George averaged 29.8 points on the five-game road trip and went 27-for-28 from the free-throw line.PREDICTION:
Pacers 99, Heat 95
Stats and Records