MIAMI (AP) -Of the 119 players on the NBA's 3-point accuracy chart this season, the Indiana Pacers might be surprised to learn who ranked next-to-last.
Dwyane Wade might not stay there much longer.
Only a 27 percent shooter from long range, Wade made his first four attempts from beyond the arc - including one that counted after goaltending, of all things - and scored a game-high 32 points as the Heat easily beat the Pacers 113-83 on Tuesday night.
``I've been feeling good about my shot lately,' said Wade, who topped the 11,000-point mark for his career on a second-quarter layup. ``I think my first shot was a 3, which I normally try not to do. But I was in rhythm, shot it, hit it and after that the confidence was up.'
Wade shot 12 of 20 for the game and scored 18 of his points in the first quarter for the Heat (21-19), who ensured they would reach the midpoint of their season Wednesday in Charlotte with a winning record. Michael Beasley scored 21 for Miami, which led 36-19 after one quarter and by 23 at one point in the opening half.
Brandon Rush scored 17 for the Pacers, who are 4-17 on the road and 0-3 against the Heat this season. The Pacers lost by 13 on their home floor Oct. 30, and now have lost in Miami by 34 and 30 points over the past month.
``They made every shot in the first half and we didn't make any,' Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. ``Our best shooters aren't shooting the ball very well right now and their best shooters knocked our eyes out.'
Troy Murphy had 11 points and 12 rebounds, but was just 3 of 11 from the floor. Danny Granger had only eight points on a historically bad shooting night for him, 2 for 16. According to STATS LLC, of the 217 games in his career with at least 10 shot attempts, Granger shot worse in only one - 2 for 17 at Philadelphia on April 10, 2007.
``We had open looks,' Granger said. ``They just didn't go down.'
Jermaine O'Neal added 10 for the Heat, who rested most of their starters for the entire fourth quarter and will reach the midpoint of their season Wednesday at surging Charlotte.
This one was all Miami from the outset.
The Heat scored the game's first nine points, the biggest spurt to open a Miami game this season, and Wade quickly got rolling as well. He shot 7 for 8 in the first quarter, had 25 points by halftime, and Miami was well on its way to winning its only home game during an odd 17-day stretch that included a just-completed six-game road swing followed now by games in Charlotte and Washington.
The Charlotte game looms large for Miami. The Bobcats are 17-4 at home, and will enter Wednesday just a half-game back of Miami for the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference.
``We don't want to overstate this,' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ``We have a battle tomorrow. And we understand that. They're waiting for us and we're looking forward to this game.'
Dahntay Jones scored 13 and Roy Hibbert added 12 for Indiana.
Just about everything that could go wrong for the Pacers did, including a pair of bizarre occurrences involving 3-pointers.
Wade was credited with one of his 3-pointers with 3:49 left in the opening quarter when Murphy got called for goaltending, a rarity on any shot from the outside to begin with. The try rattled around the cylinder, and Murphy grabbed the ball when it was coming off the rim.
``That's a first,' Wade said.
And then the Pacers lost three points in the third quarter, 6 minutes after thinking they had them.
Rush's 3-pointer early in the quarter got Indiana to 63-46. Already down by 22, during a time-out with 5:34 left in the quarter officials reviewed the play and determined Rush's shot came after the 24-second shot clock had expired, taking points off the board.
By then, Wade had done more than enough anyway.
``Unstoppable,' Beasley said. ``I mean, how do you guard that? Too quick for you to play up on him. He's hot so you don't want to play off him. Scary.'
NOTES: It was the ninth time in Wade's career that he made at least four 3-pointers. ... The Pacers were without Tyler Hansbrough (ear infection), Jeff Foster (back) and Luther Head (left ankle). ... Beasley played in his 100th consecutive game. ... Granger is shooting 8 of 36 against Miami this season.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved