Monday night’s game between the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat “was delayed…due to a lighting malfunction in the arena,” according to Dan Gartland of Sports Illustrated.
The lights at American Airlines Arena were never turned back on after they were dimmed for pregame introductions, and Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel said the delay was “officially listed as 26 minutes.”
Players for both teams actually stayed on the court and warmed up for some time without the arena fully lit, although they eventually went to the locker rooms before being granted additional warm-up time.
Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post provided video of the incident:
Jason Lieser @JasonLieser
Slight delay to #Heat-#Pacers because of a lighting issue. https://t.co/BUQ7JIHPay2016-1-5 00:43:41
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press added an image of the players waiting:
Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
All the players waiting for the lights to come on in Miami. #INDvsMIA delayed briefly. https://t.co/srvCgu2jsg2016-1-5 00:43:10
Reynolds also poked fun at the Miami crowd that is known for arriving a bit after tipoff, tweeting, “But the good news: The late-arriving Miami crowd will be on time tonight.”
Appropriately, the visiting Pacers shot lights-out in the early going following the delay and jumped out to a 15-3 advantage in the opening minutes.
While it is still early in the season, Monday’s game took on importance in the jumbled Eastern Conference standings. Miami entered the contest as the No. 3 seed but was only one game ahead of the Pacers, who checked in as the No. 6 seed.