Dragic, Johnson help Heat beat Nets in Mexico City

Dragic, Johnson help Heat beat Nets in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY (AP) – The Miami Warmth spent a whole lot of time within the final couple of days as a bunch of vacationers in Mexico Metropolis. Once they acquired again within the court docket, they had been all enterprise.

Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson every scored 20 factors and Miami beat the Brooklyn Nets 101-89 on Saturday within the Warmth’s first sport in Mexico in franchise historical past.

Enjoying in entrance of 19,777 followers at raucous Area Ciudad de Mexico – and with former Warmth star Chris Bosh courtside, across the staff for a sport for the primary time in nicely over a yr – Dragic was 9 of 19 from the sector and had seven rebounds for Miami. The Warmth snapped a two-game shedding streak to enhance to 12-13.

“It was a terrific and simple journey coming down from San Antonio, we had a time off to exit and see town, you do not journey all this technique to watch TV in your room, I’ll have to get on a weight-reduction plan after this journey,” stated Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, who stated he visited as many cafes as doable. “It was enjoyable however then we acquired again to work and we ready good for tonight’s sport.”

James Johnson added 17 factors, Justise Winslow had 15 and Kelly Olynyk 11 for Miami. The Warmth rallied from two seven-point deficits, utilizing a stingy protection that allowed solely 36 factors within the second half.

“It was an ideal sport for us, particularly on the defensive finish,” Dragic stated. “Tyler performed nice and the second unit gave us the additional enhance that we would have liked, we have now a deep bench and all people can play.”

Miami arrived Wednesday night time after a loss in San Antonio. The gamers had a video session the day after and Spoelstra left them go to town the remainder of the day.

A lot of the gamers and coaches went purchasing and sightseeing in Polanco, an upscale neighborhood within the capital.

“The followers are terrific, it is an ideal atmosphere,” Spoelstra stated. “I used to be pleasantly stunned strolling round and seeing NBA video games on the T.V. in every single place we went, and the followers acknowledged us, it felt like we had been in Miami”.

By arriving two days forward of the sport, the Warmth had an opportunity to know town nevertheless it got here with a worth as a result of they struggled early within the sport with the altitude. Mexico Metropolis’s 7,350 toes above sea degree is at a far increased elevation than Denver – the NBA’s highest venue at 5,280 toes.

Skilled groups strive completely different approaches to keep away from the results of the altitude on the physique and often, arriving as near a sport as doable is thought to be the way in which to go.

“It was robust, it looks like we performed two video games, however ‘Spo’ (Spoelstra) did an ideal job rotating so we might keep contemporary,” Dragic stated.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson led the Nets with 18 factors. Coming off a 100-95 victory over Oklahoma Metropolis on Thursday night time within the Mexico Metropolis opener, the Nets dropped to 10-15.

Within the third quarter, the Nets took a seven-point lead on Tyler Zeller’s layup, however Dragic sealed a 10-2 run to offer Miami a 60-59 lead and the Warmth took a 75-72 benefit into the ultimate interval.

BOSH COURTSIDE

Bosh was warmly welcomed by his former membership. Bosh and his spouse Adrienne acquired lengthy hugs from Spoelstra, and Bosh interacted with gamers all through the night time. Bosh’s profession with the Warmth was lower quick by recurring bouts with blood clots. “He seems to be good,” Spoelstra stated, based on The Palm Seaside Submit. “His household, his children are doing nicely. I really like CB. He is Warmth household for all times.” Bosh even did considered one of his trademark videobombs in the course of the televised postgame interview with Winslow, drawing laughs.

REGULAR VISITORS

The sport between the Warmth and the Nets was the fourth in Mexico this yr. It marks the primary time the NBA has hosted 4 worldwide regular-season video games in the identical nation in a single calendar yr (outdoors Canada). In January, the Phoenix Suns performed the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs. Additionally, the sport was the 26th south of the border since 1992, additionally a report for any nation apart from the U.S. and Canada.

INCHING ON RILEY

Spoelstra (452-295) is 2 wins quick from tying Pat Riley (454-395) for probably the most wins in Warmth historical past. Spoelstra is the one second energetic coach within the NBA to report a minimum of 450 wins with their present staff. The opposite one is Gregg Popovich.

FEELING THE HEAT

The Nets suffered their sixth straight loss to the Warmth. Brooklyn has not crushed Miami since Dec. 28, 2015.