The Miami Heat fell to the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference on the final day of their regular season, losing 92-109 to the Indiana Pacers – who moved up to No.4 – on Friday.
The game was largely insignificant for both teams as they were locked against each other anyway. It hardly matters who’s fourth or fifth in the current bubble situation, where home-court advantage is not a factor.
Erik Spoelstra kept the likes of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Jae Crowder and Goran Dragic out of the game, only giving Duncan Robinson seven minutes of play in the third quarter. Udonis Haslem was handed his third appearance of the season – the 40-year old veteran scored seven points and grabbed eight rebounds in 24 minutes on the floor.
Kendrick Nunn played 33 minutes, scoring 23 points and dishing out four assists on his return to action, following a short isolation period. Solomon Hill also chipped in with 21 points and three assists while Tyler Herro dropped 16.
The one worry for Miami heading into the playoffs is Derrick Jones Jr., who had to be stretchered off the floor after running into a moving screen set by Pacers center Goga Bitadze late in the third quarter. The team wasn’t able to provide an immediate diagnosis but will update fans as soon as they can. We can guess it was some type of neck injury given the way the player was holding onto it while laying on the floor.
The Heat will begin their playoff campaign against Indiana on Tuesday at 4 pm ET.