3 Reasons why Indiana Pacers lost in crushing fashion to Miami Heat

The Indiana Pacers suffered a brutal loss to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, and here are three reasons why.

Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Buddy Hield
Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, Buddy Hield / Megan Briggs/GettyImages
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Following a crushing home loss to the lowly Portland Trail Blazers, the Indiana Pacers enjoyed two days of rest before heading to Miami to take on familiar foes in Jimmy Butler and the Heat, one of the premier teams in the East.

Naturally, following a crushing loss to an inferior team, the Pacers were expected to bounce back and perhaps get a big win on the road against a rival team before they tried to do it again on Saturday.

At the end of the first half, this very much seemed the case, with Indiana having a nine-point lead at halftime behind scorching-hot shooting, impressive defense (especially for the Pacers), and an otherworldly performance from Tyrese Haliburton, whom we will get to later.

With this performance in mind, the Pacers were expected to keep this momentum going in the second half and come away with a big win going into a day of rest, giving them some confidence to do it again in two days.

However, this was where the downfall started. Almost immediately, the league's highest-scoring third-quarter team started falling apart in said third quarter, not being able to hit a three-pointer and letting the Heat cut the lead to three going into the fourth.

If you thought the third quarter was bad, you hadn't seen anything yet, as Indiana produced one of the worst fourth quarters in recent memory, shooting terribly and allowing Miami to make 15 of 18 shots in the fourth en route to a 10-point victory despite Indiana being up by as much as 13 at an earlier point.

Indiana's play in the fourth quarter was so bad to the point that fans would have been better off diverting their eyes from the screen in order to not look directly at the terrible play in front of them, as the Pacers' late rally attempts were stopped, mainly due to missed free throws, and Miami came away with the 10-point victory despite losing Bam Adebayo after the first half.

This game has been the final straw for some Pacers fans, with a lot of fans demanding the team make a trade and chastising multiple members of the team, most notably coach Rick Carlisle for the questionable decisions he made down the stretch. We will get to those decisions in a minute, as I have taken three key reasons behind the Pacers loss and explained what led to Indiana losing in such a humiliating fashion to a rival team.