Pacers-Heat Preview

The Miami Heat weren’t expected to face many obstacles this

season, but injury problems are the latest source of adversity for

them to overcome.

The Heat will be without Udonis Haslem and could be missing

Dwyane Wade when they host the Indiana Pacers on Monday night.

Miami’s three star players have struggled to get in sync in the

early going. The Heat (8-5) haven’t been dominant early on and had

their three-game winning streak snapped in stunning fashion

Saturday, losing 97-95 at Memphis.

Rudy Gay hit a fadeaway jumper over LeBron James at the buzzer

after James tied the game with 5.5 seconds left. Miami went 10 of

22 from 3-point range but got to the free-throw line a season-low

12 times, making nine.

The Heat were missing Wade (sprained left wrist), who was

injured Friday against Charlotte, and lost Haslem in the third

quarter Saturday with what turned out to be a torn ligament in his

left foot. He will be sidelined indefinitely.

The co-captain is averaging 8.0 points and a team-leading 8.2

rebounds, and is a big presence on defense.

“It’s huge,” James said of the injury. “He’s like our heart of

our team. He’s our power. He’s our pride. He brings everything

every night. Size never really matters to him. He always plays

above his height, plays above his weight.”

Wade had an MRI on Sunday. The test showed no serious damage and

he is listed as day-to-day.

It was the first time this season the Heat were without one of

their three stars. James finished with 29 points and 11 assists

while Bosh had 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Miami will look to win its fourth straight at home as it tries

to bounce back against Indiana (5-6), which has lost four in a row

and eight of 10 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

The Pacers have alternated wins and losses over their last six

games. They fell 90-86 to Orlando on Saturday.

Roy Hibbert had 19 points and 10 rebounds and led five Indiana

players who scored in double figures, but the Pacers shot 39.3

percent. That allowed the Magic’s Jameer Nelson to beat them with a

go-ahead three-point play with 33 seconds left.

“We had our opportunities to win,” said guard T.J. Ford, who had

10 points, nine rebounds and five assists. “We are learning more

every day. When teams play us, they have to respect us and know we

will be ready to play. … We must get focused now and get to Miami

and be ready to play Monday.”

Ford started a third straight game in place of Darren Collison,

who sat out with a sprained ankle. Guard Mike Dunleavy returned

after missing the previous game while his wife was in labor and had

10 points and six rebounds.

Indiana is giving up 102.3 points on the road, compared to 95.3

at home.

Miami swept the four meetings with Indiana last season,

averaging 107.0 points. The Heat won the first game in Miami by a

114-80 score Dec. 27 and took the second 113-83 on Jan. 19.

Wade averaged 33.0 points in the series and scored 43 in the

teams’ final matchup April 4, a 105-96 overtime win.

James has averaged 35.6 points in his last five matchups with

the Pacers.