Dragic powers Heat over Pelicans

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MIAMI: Goran Dragic showed no ill effects from an eye injury, scoring 33 points to power the Miami Heat to a 120-112 NBA win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila).

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Dragic, of Slovenia, suffered an injury to his right eye last week when he was elbowed by Cory Joseph of the Toronto Raptors. He had to miss Sunday’s Heat loss to Indiana because his eye was swollen shut.

The 30-year-old however proved to be a quick healer, making 11 of 18 shots from the field including five of nine from beyond the arc against the Pelicans at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“My eye is fine,” he said, “as long as I don’t get hit.”

Dragic did get popped in the final quarter. But he took the blow on the mouth and spit up some blood.

“Even the ref said, ‘I saw it,’” Dragic said. “I said, ‘Why didn’t you call it?’”

Dragic finished just one point shy of his season-high total and compiled his sixth 30-plus performance of the season.

Heat center Hassan Whiteside had a double-double with 20 points and 17 points, while reserve guard Wayne Ellington had 19 points.

Miami wasn’t the only team battling injuries to key players on Wednesday. Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis, who injured his right ankle in New Orleans’ Tuesday contest, had 27 points and eight rebounds Wednesday.

He suffered a bloody left arm in the second quarter but managed to get treatment and play through it.

The Heat improved to 22-5 in their past 27 games, continuing their bid for an Eastern Conference postseason spot.

AFP

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