The Miami Heat picked up a much-needed victory in Mexico City with a feel-good 101-89 over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday. With the team missing Hassan Whiteside in the middle, the Heat were led by Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson with 20 points each and a strong offensive effort from Justise Winslow — notably from long range with 15 points off the bench, including 4-4 from beyond the arc.
The team’s starting five of Dragic, Dion Waiters, James Johnson, Josh Richardson, and Kelly Olynyk had mixed results and Dragic was quickly pulled in favor of Tyler Johnson four minutes into the game and the Heat soon bounced back. Winslow scored eight points early on and Dragic returned with a vengeance in the second quarter to lead a 9-0 Heat comeback run to take the lead. Winslow would finish with 11 first half points and Tyler with 18.
In a welcome change of pace, the Heat’s strong push forward after the half controlled the pace of the game. Brooklyn struggled from the field and were limited to 36 second half points. Dragic would again lead the Heat on another significant run to open the fourth quarter, and though the Nets kept it close the Heat continuously would make a key defensive stop, an offensive rebound or timely basket to preserve the lead.
Miami took care of the ball and only committed six turnovers for the game, a season low for the team and according to ESPN the second-fewest total for an NBA team this season. James Johnson filled up the box score with 17 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two assists but Waiters had another puzzling game with just two points on 1-10 shooting after scoring 22 points against the San Antonio Spurs and four points against the Golden State Warriors last week.
The Heat next face off against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday at 8pm.