The Pacers (12-8) look to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat by winning a regular-season home game against the Miami Heat (12-8) Friday night. This is the second meeting between the two teams. Indiana came out with a 90-87 win against the Heat on November 6th.
Both the Pacers and the Heat have reestablished themselves as East Conference contenders. Shot-blocking wiz Hassan Whiteside has given the Heat a defensive aid at the center position and All-Star Chris Bosh has been able to move back over to the power forward position. The emergence of Whitehead has helped give the Heat their rating of the second-best defensive team in the NBA. Miami has allowed just 96.4 points per 100 possessions.
Indiana is playing at a faster pace than they have in the past. The Pacers have put together impressive offensive numbers, averaging 104.3 points per game, fifth-most in the NBA. This is more than the team has averaged in all but one season over the past 20 years.
Struggling defensively, the Pacers have allowed an average of 125.3 points over their past three games. Their past three opponents have shot 46 percent or better from the field. Coming off an overtime loss to Utah and a 131-123 defeat to Golden State.
Paul George finished the game against the Warriors with a team-high 33 points on 11-for-27 shooting.
In their first meeting with the Heat, the Pacers were stout defensively, holding Dwayne Wade to nine points on 4-of-15 shooting in the home victory.
The Heat are coming off an 99-81 win against the Hornets. Bosh struggled in the Wednesday night game, scoring a season-low of seven points.
Miami was without Gerald Green in their first matchup this season against the Pacers. The Pacers are 42-9 in home games against the Heat.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.