MIAMI – The New Orleans Pelicans were not very nice to their hosts, the Miami Heat, as both teams played one last game before Christmas.
New Orleans took advantage of a weary Heat team and dominated the second half Saturday in a 109-94 victory, a game in which the Pelicans led by 24 with three minutes to play.
For the Heat, the two-day holiday break comes at a good time with several players returning, or close to coming back, from injury. Goran Dragic (sore left elbow) and James Johnson (right ankle bursitis) both played Saturday after missing three games each. Dragic logged 30 minutes but Johnson did not play in the second half after re-aggravating the injury early in the games.
Miami also hopes get back Hassan Whiteside (left knee bruise) and Justise Winslow (left knee strain) shortly. One player who it appears will need more time to recover is Dion Waiters, who sprained his problematic left ankle Friday. Rodney McGruder (stress fracture left leg) and Okaro White (broken left foot) also remained sidelined.
Still, the Heat feel good about being above .500 (17-16) and having won six of their last nine games. Anthony Chiang and I talked about how the Heat ran out of gas in the second half Saturday along with the bigger picture on our Facebook Live Video, which can be found on the Post on Miami Heat page. Give it a follow if you aren’t already.
MIAMI – It’s way too early to say a game is a ‘must win.’ But after losing three straight at home and facing one of the worst teams in the league coming off a 32-point loss, the Heat were in a position that anything but a favorable result Wednesday would have been demoralizing.
Whiteside was active early and finished with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Goran Dragic (20 points) and Tyler Johnson (19) provided enough in the second half to help Miami rally from a six-point third-quarter deficit and then hold off the Bulls.
The Heat (3-4) now hit the road for six games, which should truly be an early season test to see where this team stands.
Here is our latest Heat video as we talk about Wednesday’s victory.
A promotional event at the American Airlines Arena during Thursday night’s Miami Heat-Dallas Mavericks game took a dangerous turn.
A contestant was brought down to center court to attempt to open a makeshift hotel door in hopes of winning a prize. When the unidentified woman, dressed in a Hassan Whiteside jersey, opened the door and stepped through the doorway, the framework of the door began to tilt, putting her in harm’s way.
Despite the woman’s best efforts to get out of the way, the door came crashing down, seemingly catching her in the side of the head. Luckily, she was OK and seemed to be laughing off the awkward situation while receiving a hug from the Heat’s arena emcee.
The experience wasn’t all bad for the woman, who won a three-day, two-night at Epic Hotel in Miami, a $100 gift card to Area 31 restaurant and a free day of spa service, something that she will likely need.
Drake didn’t just hold a concert at AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday.
The rapper also made a halfcourt shot from his back at the Heat practice facility inside AmericanAirlines Arena before entertaining the crowd as part of his Summer Sixteen Tour. It’s not the first time Drake has pulled this off, as the Toronto native and Raptors supporter also made a halfcourt shot from his back at the Atlanta Hawks training facility last week.
Here’s video proof of Drake’s pretty cool shot at the Heat facility …
The man, who gave his name as Adam B., 26, said he is from Melbourne and lived in Miami the past five years. He was frustrated after watching the TV news today, filled with scenes from two deadly police shootings in the last 24 hours involving black victims and white officers. He said people should be more concerned with that than “whether Dwyane Wade makes $50 or $60 million.”
With a marker, he wrote “White Cop Black Victim” five times on a cardboard sign, laid it at the front doors of the arena and took a picture.
A security guard slowly approached, folded the sign and threw it in the trash, saying he supported what the man was doing but had to do his job.
“I’ll put up another one,” the man said, patches of sweat on his t-shirt bearing the image of Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton. The security guard told him it would be discarded.
He made one that said, “Who do they protect and serve?” and approached the building. The security guard asked him not to. He walked down the street to Bayfront Park, looking for people to listen to his message.
MIAMI — There are about two dozen advertisements and promo videos playing on the four-story video board outside AmericanAirlines Arena. Several of them feature Heat players. As of this morning, one of them focuses solely on an ex-Heat player.
For posterity’s sake, we captured the video of Dwyane Wade, before it is taken out of rotation for good:
Justise Winslow made 195 shots in his rookie season with the Heat. This was the craziest.
Winslow’s unusual basket against the Nets took place when he was trying to pass the ball outside, but it was deflected by Bojan Bogdanovic. When Bogdanovic blocked it, he sent it off Winslow’s arm and somehow into the basket.