MIAMI (AP) — Goran Dragic scored 23 points, Dion Waiters added 19 and the Miami Heat opened their home schedule with a 112-108 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday night.
James Johnson scored 14 points and Kelly Olynyk added 13 for the Heat, who wasted nearly all of what was a 21-point lead before hanging on in the final moments. Josh Richardson added 12 for Miami.
Victor Oladipo scored 28 points for Indiana, which got 18 from Domantas Sabonis and 14 from Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson. The Pacers were outscored 37-19 in the second quarter to get into trouble, and nearly pulled off a comeback by outscoring Miami 32-21 in the fourth.
Oladipo’s stepback 3 with 25 seconds left cut Miami’s lead to 109-106, before Richardson made one of two free throws for the Heat to make it a two-possession game again. Cory Joseph’s runner with 12.9 seconds left bounced off the glass and dropped to get the Pacers within two — the closest the game was since the midpoint of the second quarter.
The Heat inbounded to James Johnson, who swished a pair of free throws and Miami escaped.
A 13-0 second-quarter burst proved big for the Heat, with Olynyk scoring eight points — including a pair of 3-pointers — during that run. Tyler Johnson had a pair of assists in that spurt, and he took a pass from James Johnson for a dunk that put Miami up 61-47 late in the half.
Dragic hit a 3-pointer to put Miami up 87-66 midway through the third. The Heat were outscored 42-25 the rest of the way.
Pacers: It was the 17th time that Lance Stephenson played a game in Miami. His teams are 2-15 in those contests. … Indiana’s only other trip to Miami is early this year, coming on Nov. 19. … Jefferson had eight rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench.
Heat: Miami is 19-11 in home openers. … Jordan Mickey became the 171st player in Heat history to start a game. … James Johnson got the crowd roaring with a baseline dunk in the first quarter, elevating over and around Oladipo. … The Heat now have tri-captains, with James Johnson and Dragic joining longtime captain Udonis Haslem.
The Heat were without Hassan Whiteside (bruised knee) and the Pacers were without Myles Turner (concussion), so both teams were without their primary inside threat. Whiteside is being evaluated daily and the Heat haven’t said when he’ll return. Turner is in the NBA’s mandated concussion protocol and is likely to see doctors on Sunday.
Road teams always struggle in Miami-Indiana games. Including playoffs, the Heat are 13-1 in their last 14 home games against Indiana — while the Pacers are 11-1 in their last 12 home games against Miami.
Pacers: Indiana goes to Minnesota on Tuesday.
Heat: Miami’s six-game homestand continues Monday against Atlanta.
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