Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 1/21

Game 1: Friday, January 21st
Game 2: Wednesday, February 23rd
Game 3: Thursday, March 31st
Game 4: Sunday, April 17th

Pacers 80

(43-37, 19-21 away)

Heat 84

(57-23, 34-6 home)

3:30 PM ET, April 17, 2005

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
IND 15 22 25 1880
MIA 24 23 17 2084

Top Performers

Ind: S. Jackson 21 Pts, 1 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl

Mia: E. Jones 17 Pts, 10 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

Heat overcome Shaq's injury; Pacers' O'Neal returns

MIAMI (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal was done before halftime. Jermaine O'Neal was back for Indiana, giving Miami fits in the second half. The Heat's other star, Dwyane Wade, struggled.

Still, Miami found a way to end its longest losing streak of the season -- and finally beat the Pacers as well.

Eddie Jones scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Damon Jones added 16 points and the Heat knocked off Indiana 84-80 on Sunday, to end their four-game losing streak and beat the Pacers for the first time in 13 regular-season meetings.

Shaquille O'Neal scored 11 points in 17 minutes, leaving shortly before halftime with a bruised right thigh after an inadvertent kneeing by Jermaine O'Neal.

"We're a talented team and we're a tough team," said Wade, who finished with 13 points on 4-for-15 shooting. "I don't know if people think we're soft because we live in Miami or what. But whether Shaq's playing or Shaq's not playing, we're going out and showing we're a good basketball team."

The game was physical throughout, and turned especially chippy late. A pair of mild altercations resulted in no ejections, although Jermaine O'Neal appeared to pull Udonis Haslem down as the two battled for the ball -- after a made free throw -- with 1:41 left.

Miami's lead was often precarious and never grew larger than eight in the final 19 minutes, yet the Pacers never led in the second half.

"It's good to get a win against them because of the way we got it," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "And having to really battle and do it defensively and rebound and be tough and suck it up, even when they made their run in the second half. It's good for all those reasons. It's good because we lost four in a row."

Stephen Jackson finished with 21 points for Indiana, which fell two games behind Washington in the race for the Eastern Conference's No. 5 playoff seed. Reggie Miller scored 18 for the Pacers, with Jermaine O'Neal adding 16 in his first game back after missing 22 with a shoulder injury.

"We just couldn't get over the hump," said Jackson, who got tangled up with Alonzo Mourning late in the game. "And they did what they needed to do to win the game."

Down the stretch, the Heat certainly could have used their All-Star center.

But Alonzo Mourning did his part to secure the win, blocking two late shots -- including one by Jackson with 26 seconds remaining, preserving the Heat's five-point lead.

"It was a tough break when Shaq went out at halftime," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "They were able to keep it together and get it done. You have to give them a lot of credit."

Another big defensive play by Mourning led to a huge momentum shift with 2:31 left.

Jermaine O'Neal drove to the basket with a chance to cut Miami's lead to three, but Mourning blocked his layup try. Wade pushed the ball up the court, and Damon Jones -- who had 13 points after halftime -- hit a 3-pointer to give the Heat an 80-72 lead.

Damon Jones has averaged 16.8 points against the Pacers this year; 11.3 against everybody else.

"Damon Jones, who has hurt us all year, hurt us again," Carlisle said.

Miller had six points to fuel a 12-2 run by Indiana, pulling the Pacers into a 60-all tie with 3:21 left in the quarter. Wade ended the Indiana flurry with 2:31 left in the third, converting a three-point play to put Miami up 63-60 -- and ending a personal run of nine straight misses.

Keyon Dooling scored five points in the first 2½ minutes of the fourth quarter, including a layup to give the Heat a 71-64 lead. Jermaine O'Neal scored the game's next six points, but the Pacers never could retake the lead.

"Both teams are testy and it was a hard-fought game toward the end," Miller said. "That's what it's all about."

Game notes

Van Gundy, who has 99 regular-season wins in his two seasons, has now beaten every NBA team. ... Wade has 1,840 points this season, a new Heat record. Glen Rice had 1,831 a decade ago. ... Jackson said some fans were trying to entice him into a fight late in the game. "The days of punching fans are over," said Jackson, who was suspended for 30 games for his role in the brawl between the Pacers and Pistons in Detroit earlier this season. ... In the two games since his 18-for-33, career-high 48-point night in Philadelphia, Wade is 10-for-32 for 30 total points. ... Indiana hadn't lost consecutive games since March 20 and 22, when it was swept in a home-and-home by New Jersey. ... Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss, a Heat season-ticket holder, caught a freebie T-shirt during a time-out -- and promptly tossed it to a young girl sitting a few rows back.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 80 84
FGM-FGA 26-74 (.351) 30-68 (.441)
3PM-3PA 7-17 (.412) 9-19 (.474)
FTM-FTA 21-32 (.656) 15-23 (.652)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-38 10-44
Assists 11 17
Turnovers 9 15
Steals 7 4
Blocks 2 6
Fast Break Points 3 11
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (2/1) 23 (2/0)
Largest Lead 2 12

Top Performers

Stephen Jackson Jackson
Points: 21
Reb: 1
Ast: 1
Stl: 1
Blk: 0
Eddie Jones Jones
Points: 17
Reb: 10
Ast: 3
Stl: 2
Blk: 0