All the Miami Heat banners, reminders of everything from division titles to the 2006 NBA championship, were missing from the rafters Monday night.
Fitting, because the Heat look nothing like champions these days.
Danny Granger had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Brandon Rush added 20 points and the Indiana Pacers added to Miami’s week of woe, beating the Heat 93-77 in the worst shooting game of Dwyane Wade’s career.
"We came into their building knowing how good they’re supposed to be," Rush said. "And they just had a bad night."
Back after a one-game absence with a sprained left wrist, Wade finished with three points on 1-for-13 shooting. He had never shot so poorly when taking at least 13 tries, and the point total was the third-lowest of his career. He has been held scoreless twice, once against Washington in 2004, the other in 2006 when he left midway through the first quarter of a game against Chicago.
"A tough night for Dwyane," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "But we’ve been around him long enough. He always finds a way to bounce back. Getting his health is the priority, first of all. But secondly, we know that he’s very introspective as a professional athlete. That’s the way I want all of our guys in the locker room to be."
LeBron James scored 25 points and Chris Bosh had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Miami, which learned earlier Monday that top reserve Udonis Haslem will need surgery to repair a torn foot ligament and be out indefinitely.
T.J. Ford scored 13 points and Mike Dunleavy added 11 for the Pacers, who took control with a 29-11 run in the second quarter.
"Make or miss, we wanted to run," Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. "We wanted to push it and move them. They were having a difficult time guarding our passing game. When they scored we just wanted to get it in quickly and put it at them."
For his part, Wade did not use the wrist – it was in a brace again after the game – as an excuse.
"I’ve played with worse," Wade said. "No bearing on my performance."
The Pacers (6-6) had been 0-4 when scoring less than 99 points. Granger hit a pair of 3-pointers 36 seconds apart in the final 2 1/2 minutes to seal it, the last one giving Indiana a 91-75 lead and sending just about everyone who was left in the seats heading to the exits.
Hours after learning Haslem will have surgery Tuesday, the Heat struggled just about every step of the way. Indiana’s reserves outscored their counterparts 40-4 – the only Miami reserve to score was Jamaal Magloire, who entered with three points all season.
It was the first blowout defeat since Wade, James and Bosh teamed up with the Heat; Miami’s first five losses came by a combined 20 points.
And it was decisive in many ways.
Indiana outrebounded Miami 48-39, forced 22 turnovers while committing 13, outscored the Heat 38-18 in the paint, and had more assists (26) than the Heat had field goals (24). When it was over, Wade stood at midcourt, frustrated expression on his face.
Now 14 games into this season of championship expectations, the Heat are 8-6. At this time a year ago, they were 9-5.
"We’re in a position where we’re going to get everybody’s best and we haven’t jelled as a team," Bosh said. "This is what we asked for coming into it, and we just have to keep going."
Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Carlos Arroyo each scored 12 for Miami.
Here’s a perfect example of how the night went for Miami: With 1:16 left, James and Bosh both leaped for a defensive rebound. They both missed it, both fell over backwards, and the ball went to Indiana.
"Sometimes," Spoelstra said, "you have four or five games where nothing seems to go right."
Wade missed his last nine shots of Friday’s game against Charlotte, when he was battling flulike symptoms. He didn’t play Saturday in Memphis, then made just one of his 13 shots against the Pacers.
So over that span, he’s gone a baffling 1 for 22 from the field.
And when Wade got an attempt to finally fall, it didn’t count – a tribute to the level of defense Indiana played all night.
Wade drove into the lane from the right wing midway through the third quarter, tossed up a shot off the board and in – only to have it waved off by Solomon Jones drawing a charge on the play. Wade attacked Jones again on the next Miami possession, got his layup blocked, then got a technical foul out of frustration.
"Our key was to go on every screen (and) make him shoot it because we knew the wrist was still bothering him," Rush said. "And that’s what we did."
Not even two minutes later, the 7-foot-3, 260-pound Ilgauskas was called for a charge against 6-foot, 160-pound Darren Collison, who had no problem standing tall against a man who looks twice his size.
It was that sort of night for the Pacers.
They took the fight to Miami, with one sequence in the third quarter maybe summing it all up best. Indiana held the ball for 54 straight seconds on one possession – an absolute eternity in a game with a 24-second shot clock.
The strange series began with 1:18 left in the third, when James missed a 3-pointer and Indiana controlled the rebound. Ford had a layup blocked and got his own rebound. Granger missed a 3-pointer, with Jones getting the offensive board. Granger missed another jumper, Jones getting yet another long rebound, and then Granger misfired yet again from beyond the arc.
Magloire ended the possession with a defensive rebound, James made two free throws at the other end, and the Heat were down 74-64 entering the fourth. But Miami never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
"We’re not having fun right now," James said.
NOTES: Boxing promoter Don King was at the game. … The Pacers used their fourth different starting lineup in 12 games. … Miami won last season’s two home games against Indiana by 34 and 30 points.