Alonzo Mourning's temper finally snapped Saturday night, and along with it went the Miami Heat's 11-game home winning streak.
Antonio Davis, whose contact with Mourning led to the Miami center's ejection, scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Indiana Pacers beat Miami 94-89 in a showdown between Eastern Conference division leaders.
Mourning was ejected with 5:11 left in the first half when he was hit with two quick technicals from referee Ted Bernhardt after being whistled for an offensive foul. Without his inside presence, the Pacers were able to diversify their offense with Davis and Rik Smits.
"It ain't our fault he wasn't there," said Davis, who went 6-for-9 from the field. "You've got to control your emotions. Everybody's fired up and ready to display some kind of aggression. The referees are as big a part of the game as the players."
With Miami trailing 31-27, P.J. Brown was smacked by Davis on a shot inside the lane. Referee Steve Javie looked ready to call a foul on Davis, but Barnhardt ruled that Mourning had pushed Davis into Brown.
Mourning, known in the past for being a hothead but a model citizen until Saturday, flung his arms in frustration, turned to protest and got his first technical. Then as the two walked downcourt, Bernhardt suddenly turned, jabbed his finger in Mourning's chest and ejected him.
"I was stunned," said Mourning, whose fight with Larry Johnson led to him sitting out Game 5 of last year's first-round playoff loss to New York.
"He brushed me off and that really upset me. I wanted to talk to him because it was my third foul. Unfortunately when you're in a situation like that, they have the last say."
After Mourning's ejection, the Pacers reeled off five straight points for a 36-27 lead on Reggie Miller's 11-foot runner with 3:10 left before halftim. Indiana led 43-35 at the break and built the advantage to as many as 17 in the second half.
"You can make all kinds of excuses like Zo getting ejected, but they're (Indiana) a veteran team and an experienced team," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "We as a team did not handle this situation well."
The Heat did battle back toward the end, throwing a scare into the Pacers in the final four minutes before losing for the first time in seven games.
Tim Hardaway scored seven points in a 9-3 Miami run that cut the deficit to 89-84 with 2:01 left. Dale Davis and Hardaway traded baskets, but the Heat could not score again until Terry Porter's 3-pointer with 15.4 seconds left.
"It was a typical battle," said Miller, who finished with 11 points on 4-for-12 shooting.
Chris Mullin added 17 points and 10 rebounds and Mark Jackson had 13 points as the Pacers finished a stretch of four games in five nights with a 2-2 mark. Indiana has won two of three from Miami this season with one game, left, April 18 in Miami.
Hardaway scored 11 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Heat, while Terry Porter added 15 off the bench. Miami continually was frustrated by Indiana's interior defense, hitting just 33 of 81 field goals (41 percent).
"I just thought we weren't right," Riley said. "We just didn't get play the game we had to against them. We were forcing a lot of our shots. We never got into the game; we had no energy."
The Heat's last loss at Miami Arena came Feb. 9, a 108-101 loss to Boston in the fourth game of the season. Miami was hoping to tie the franchise record of 12 straight home wins set in 1993.
The Pacers hit 35 of 71 field goal attempts, coming within one of becoming the first Heat opponent to reach 50 percent this season. Miami and Utah are the only NBA teams to hold each of their opponents under 50 percent.
Indiana also ended the Heat's 11-game streak of holding opponents under 90 points. That's an NBA record since the shot clock was introduced in the 1954-55 season.
Notes: Indiana now is 4-1 in its alternate yellow road jerseys introduced this season. ... Heat coach Pat Riley wasn't enamored by comments from former Chicago coach Phil Jackson that this season's NBA title will be "tainted" because Michael Jordan retired and the Bulls were broken up. "I think that's the effects of all the windowpane he took in the '70s," Riley said, using a slang term for LSD. "The synapses just don't fire like they used to."
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