INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers showed plenty of rust from an 11-day layoff. They still had more than enough to beat the weary Miami Heat.
The Pacers bounced back from a sluggish start with a 26-5 run spanning the end of the second and start of the third quarters that propelled them to a 94-81 victory Thursday night in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series.
Ron Artest had 25 points and six rebounds for the Pacers, who hadn’t played since wrapping up their first-round sweep of Boston way back on April 25.
The long break showed early, with the Pacers committing 10 turnovers in the first half and struggling to execute their offense for much of the game.
Just two days removed from finishing a grueling seven-game series against New Orleans, the Heat didn’t have the energy to capitalize.
Miami shot just 38 percent from the field, missing countless layups and coming up short on jumpers, a sign of fatigue.
Rookie Dwyane Wade led the Heat with 22 points and seven rebounds. Caron Butler added 14 points and nine rebounds for Miami, which got the fast start it wanted before Jamaal Tinsley buried them with hot shooting from the outside.
Miami took a 7-2 lead in the first 2 minutes as Indiana opened the game cold from the field. Several of the Heat players were breathing heavy after the quick start and Indiana slowly started to wear down the younger team.
Lamar Odom’s jumper with 3:42 to play in the second quarter brought the Heat within 34-32, and that’s when the Pacers went on their big run.
Artest got things started with two jumpers and a free throw and Tinsley took over from there.
The point guard has worked hard this season to improve his outside shooting, and it showed Thursday night. Tinsley hit one 3 in the second quarter, and added two more at the start of the third as Indiana’s lead ballooned to 60-37 with just under 8 minutes to play in the third.
Tinsley was 5 for 6 from 3-point range and scored a playoff career-high 17 points.
The Heat didn’t go quietly. They closed the third quarter with a 7-2 run and Wade got hot in the fourth to help Miami chip away at the lead. His acrobatic drive with 4:32 to go made it 82-74, but Reggie Miller hit a 3-pointer a minute later for a 13-point lead.
Game 2 is Saturday in Indianapolis.
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