INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, T.J. McConnell added 22 points and the Indiana Pacers hung on to strengthen their playoff prospects with a 117-115 victory over the Miami Heat on Sunday.

The Pacers have won four of five to take a 1 1/2-game lead over the Heat for the Eastern Conference’s sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot.

Jimmy Butler had 27 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Heat. Tyler Herro scored 21 points but had a made free throw erased because of a lane violation on Kevin Love with 3.6 seconds to go and the Heat down two.

Bam Adebayo and Caleb Martin each scored 20 and Adebayo had 12 rebounds for Miami, which lost for just the second time in six games as it tries to avoid staying in the league’s Play-In tournament.

Indiana never trailed over the final 45 1/2 minutes, but Miami certainly made it difficult late. The Heat cut the deficit to one twice in the final 3 1/2 minutes, but the Pacers answered both times on a festive day for Pacers fans.

The near sellout crowd gave team owner Herb Simon, the longest-tenured owner in NBA history, a standing ovation during an early timeout following his election to the 2024 Hall of Fame class.

And for a team trying to snap a three-year playoff drought, which has lost a franchise-record nine straight playoff games, hasn’t won a postseason series in a decade and whose young roster is filled largely with players who have little or no playoff experience, Sunday’s game was the biggest since the In-Season Tournament — and Indiana played like it.

It controlled most of the game until Miami’s 12-4 run cut the deficit to 103-101 with 3:14 to go. But Indiana answered with Ben Sheppard’s layup, Aaron Nesmith’s two free throws and Pascal Siakam’s three-point play to make it 110-103 with 1:58 left.

Miami made it a one-point game again with 11 seconds to go on Herro’s 3 and had a chance to do it again from the free-throw line with Herro at the line. But after Love was called for a lane violation, Indiana inbounded the ball and closed it out at the line.

Indiana now holds tiebreakers for winning season series against Milwaukee, New York, Miami and Philadelphia. The Cavaliers would join the list if Indiana wins at Cleveland later this week.


Heat: Play their final regular season road game Tuesday at Atlanta.

Pacers: Continue their playoff push Tuesday at Toronto.