Miami Heat

Miami Heat no longer a playoff team, can get back in Wednesday at Charlotte

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, holds the ball against Hornets' Kemba Walker, in the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat vs Charlotte Hornets, NBA game at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Wednesday, March 8, 2017.
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, holds the ball against Hornets' Kemba Walker, in the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat vs Charlotte Hornets, NBA game at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. pportal@miamiherald.com

The Miami Heat got a little help on the out-of-town scoreboard on Tuesday night, just not in the game it needed most.

With the Indiana Pacers beating the Toronto Raptors 108-90, the Heat lost its weak grip on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and slipped to ninth as the Pacers took sole possession of eighth.

By virtue of the Chicago Bulls losing to the Knicks — a team which really messed the Heat up at AmericanAirlines Arena last week — Miami goes into Wednesday’s game in Charlotte a half-game behind the Bulls for seventh and Indiana for eighth.

Miami is 1-2 against the Hornets this season although Charlotte — which is also playing for its postseason future as it comes in two full games back of the Pacers — played in Washington on Tuesday night.

The loss to the Wizards on Tuesday snapped a three-game winning streak for the Hornets.

As far as the playoff race goes, Miami has five games remaining (including Wednesday) with only two at home.

Indiana, which is 11-28 away from its Indianapolis fieldhouse, has four games remaining with two at home. Although the Pacers don’t play well on the road, their two road opponents (Orlando and Philadelphia) aren’t playing for anything.

Miami’s road schedule is much more daunting with stops in Charlotte, Toronto and Washington before finishing up at home against Cleveland and Washington.

UP NEXT FOR THE HEAT

Wednesday: At Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Friday: At Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday: At Washington, 7 p.m.

Monday: Cleveland, 7:30

Wednesday, April 12 (regular season finale): Washington, 8 p.m.

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