The Indiana Pacers kept their losing streak brief with one of their best defensive efforts of the season, and they've also proved adept at containing the Miami Heat in recent matchups.
The Pacers, though, have often come out on the losing end in road games lately and have struggled in Miami over the past 10 seasons, a pair of trends they'll try to change Monday night.
Indiana held Detroit to 35.5 percent shooting and a 3-for-20 performance from 3-point range in a 94-82 victory Saturday. The Pacers allowed their previous two opponents to top the century mark but one of those back-to-back losses was a 102-100 overtime defeat in Chicago on Wednesday.
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The 82 points tied their second-fewest allowed this season and they've held one other opponent under 36.0 percent shooting.
"When we defend, we're pretty good," coach Frank Vogel said. "We've got to keep committing to that end of the floor."
Indiana (19-14) has limited Miami to an average of 85.0 points in its two wins in this season's series, both in Indianapolis, and has won five of six against the Heat since dropping Game 7 of the 2014 Eastern Conference finals.
The Pacers, losers in six of seven on the road, have also dropped 22 of their last 27 in Miami including playoffs and eight of their past nine games there. They split their two visits to AmericanAirlines Arena last season, losing 89-87 in their final one Jan. 23.
Indiana's 81-75 win in Miami on Nov. 12, 2014, ended a seven-game losing streak in that city, including the postseason. The Pacers could use another victory to kick off a stretch in which they'll play nine of 11 on the road.
"I personally love being on the road and playing on the road," said forward Paul George, whose team will begin a four-game trip Monday. "It's going to be fun to be in hostile environments."
George scored 21 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter of Saturday's win and has a combined 63 in his past two games after averaging 13.0 in his previous five, well below his team-best mark of 24.5. He's averaged 29.5 points in the two games against Miami this season and scored 36 in a 90-87 victory Nov. 6.
The Heat (20-13) have also played stellar defense while winning their first two games in 2016, allowing an average of 78.5 points on 35.2 percent shooting. They held Washington to a 34.1 percent mark and a 4-of-29 performance from 3-point range in a 97-75 road victory Sunday.
"I think everybody was locked in and that's what we need," forward Chris Bosh said. "We need everybody to bring their best efforts and be in the positions where they need to be. ... (Monday) is a huge opportunity to keep take steps forward.
"We'll be ready for (the Pacers). We owe them, and we know they're going to come into ready to play. It's going to be ready to play."
The Heat have alternated losses and wins in their last nine home games, posting a 106-82 rout of Dallas in the latest Jan. 1. They'll play back-to-back games on their own floor then have 14 of 16 on the road.
Bosh is averaging a team-best 22.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in the two games against Indiana this season.