Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat Free Preview 03/27/18

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat Free Preview 03/27/18

After the game, the players were happy to accomplish the feat, especially with eight games remaining on their regular-season slate.

Hardly anyone expected the Pacers to be remotely close to the situation they are in now.

Houston extended its winning streak to nine games. We want to get as high of a seed as possible and we're just going to continue to play and try to win as many games as possible.

The Pacers came into Sunday nights matchup with the Miami Heat needing a win to secure a playoff spot.

The game was not exactly a breeze after the first quarter where Miami connected on seemingly every shot they took, opposite of IN who struggled mightily shooting the ball.

Miami - which led 28-14 early but squandered that lead because of 10 first-half turnovers - got 19 points, including five three-pointers, from Tyler Johnson.

However, in the second, the Pacers began to play to their strengths. Its point differential in the first quarter is just plus-10, and the Pacers were slow out of the gate again. IN also did a much better job on the defensive end forcing more turnovers. The Heat were missing coach Erik Spoelstra who was back in Florida for the birth of his son. But James Johnson missed his second free throw with 8.3 seconds leaving the game tied at 96-96 and headed to overtime. Victor Oladipo missed an off-balance shot at the buzzer but was a force in overtime, hitting a three to put the Pacers ahead 106-100 with 1:20 left. Darren Collison connected on a three and an isolation jumper to close it. The Pacers are a 4-point or a 3.5-point favorite if you shop around, while the total is 207 nearly everywhere but can be bet at 206.5 at some books. Miami shot 40 percent from deep going 14 of 35. With 12 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, Kelly Olynyk had a good game for Miami.

"I'm very proud of this team", forward Thaddeus Young said.

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With the standings neck and neck this late in the season, any of the remaining Eastern Conference Playoff teams could be the Pacers first-round opponent.

James credited aggressive defensive work by the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter, when they held the Nets to 25 points.

The issue started early on when IN was getting steals but was unable to translate them into points.

James has had a decent March, averaging 31.5 points, 9.8 points and 9.7 assists while shooting 38.9 percent from 3-point range and 56.8 percent overall.

In their last five games, Cleveland is 4-1 ATS with 4 overs and 1 under. It stems to Oladipo's decision making which needs to improve as he has made some boneheaded passes lately.

According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Pacers are listed as a 3.5-point favorite on the spread line. This game was no different than any other game all year, it was a complete team effort.

"Obviously, we're showing our resilience", IN guard Darren Collison said. Vic made a heck of a play, he found me in the corner a couple times and I was able to hit some big shots.

Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Fred VanVleet had 16 points and Pascal Siakam added 15 to lead the Raptors, who lost for the third time in five games. As the No. 2 team in the league in points off of turnovers, the Pacers attacked when the Heat slipped up.

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