Heat guard Goran Dragic on potential game-tying layup, ‘I make that 10 out of 10 times’

New York’s’ Justin Holiday defends against Miami’s Goran Dragic during the Heat’s loss to the Knicks on Friday. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)

MIAMI – Goran Dragic let out a big sigh.

“I make that layup 10 out of 10 times it just didn’t fall in,” he said.

Erik Spoelstra loved everything about the play. … from Dragic attacking the rim to Hassan Whiteside with the follow tip that had to be reviewed before being ruled offensive goaltending even through the ball did not drop.

“I mean, c’mon, it’s so tough to get good shots on side out of bounds in this league, get an open shot,” Spoelstra said. “I love Goran off the dribble, attacking and right at the rim. He’s not going to miss those. I know he probably feels horrible. This is a make-or-miss league. You want to get to those spots and put yourself out there and live with the result make-or-miss.

“I loved the whole sequence of it. I loved Goran attacking, getting to the rim. And I love Hassan going after it and trying to get the tip. That’s usually a winning formula for us.”

[Heat teammates noticing center Hassan Whiteside’s growth]

[Former Heat center Brian Grant fighting Parkinson’s and keeping tabs on his old team]

The Heat were struggling against the lowly, undermanned Knicks with one field goal in the final 8:54 of the game but still were in position to at least extend the game to overtime. Miami came out the timeout with 12.3 seconds to play. The ball was in Dragic’s hand. He went straight for the basket, beating Ron Baker down the middle of the lane and had put the ball up with his left hand.

The ball rolled around the rim, seemingly taking forever, and as it came to the weak side Whiteside got his hand on it before it was off the cylinder. The whistle blew, the officials gathered, the review was conclusive.

Knicks ball.

Game over.

And on a night when the Heat were expected to get back to .500, could have put some distance between themselves and Indiana and Chicago and taken a tighter grip on the seventh spot, now they are 37-39 after the 98-94 loss and clinging to that playoff spot.

“I went too fast,” Dragic said. “On the replay you can see it was probably going off. He tried to tip the ball in but probably the ball would have rolled out.”

Spoelstra still has the utmost trust in his veteran, savvy point guard..

“We don’t love him any less,” he said. “Next time we get that opportunity (snaps fingers) we’ll probably be going right back to him. I love how aggressive he was. He wasn’t shy about it. He went after it.”

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