On a day the Heat played a game without Erik Spoelstra on the sidelines for the first time in nearly a decade, Miami’s chances of moving to the desirable fourth or fifth spots in the Eastern Conference diminished appreciably.
Sunday’s 113-107 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse left Miami four games behind No. 5 Indiana and four games behind No. 4 Philadelphia with only eight Heat games remaining. The Heat’s loss clinched playoff spots for both the Pacers and 76ers.
With Spoelstra back in Miami for Sunday’s evening birth of his first child, Miami fell to eighth in the East, one-half game behind Milwaukee and 1.5 games behind No. 6 Washington, who lost to the Knicks Sunday.
The Heat could have gone ahead with 8.3 seconds left in regulation, but James Johnson missed the second of two free throws, leaving the score tied at 96. Victor Oladipo missed an off-balance shot at the buzzer but was a force in overtime, hitting a three to put the Pacers ahead 106-100 with 1:20 left. Darren Collison then hit two jumpers to essentially seal it.
Miami – which led 28-14 early but squandered that lead because of 10 first-half turnovers - got 19 points, including five three-pointers, from Tyler Johnson. James Johnson had 15 points and 9 rebounds, and Bam Adebayo rebounded from a scoreless game in Oklahoma City to score 14. Dragic scored only nine but took only nine shots, making four. Wade scored 13, missing a chance to put the Heat ahead on a jumper with 47 seconds to go.
Josh Richardson (10 points) didn’t hit a field goal until the fourth quarter, Kelly Olynyk shot 4 for 13 (and nearly had triple double with 12 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists), Wayne Ellington 3 for 9. The Heat played an eighth game in a row without Hassan Whiteside.