NBA: Dragic shines as Heat down Blazers

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 06 2020 09:49 AM

Goran Dragic #7 of the Miami Heat handles the ball against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 5, 2020 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Issac Baldizon, NBAE via Getty Images/AFP

Reserve point guard Goran Dragic had his first double-double of the season -- 29 points and 13 assists -- as the host Miami Heat defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 122-111 on Sunday night.

Blazers point guard Damian Lillard scored a game-high 34 points and added 12 assists. Portland center Hassan Whiteside, playing his first game in Miami since the Heat traded him to the Blazers in July, had 21 points, a game-high 18 rebounds and two blocks.

Miami, which never trailed and improved to 10-0 following a loss, also got 20 points from Bam Adebayo, 19 from Derrick Jones and 14 from Kendrick Nunn.

The Heat led by as many as 24 points and hung on to improve their NBA-best home record to 17-1, the best 18-game run in franchise history. It also marks a huge improvement from last season, when the Heat finished 19-22 at home.

Both teams were without their starting shooting guards -- Miami's Jimmy Butler (back pain) and Portland's CJ McCollum (illness).

Butler, who leads the Heat in scoring, assists and steals, was replaced by Jones, who made his first start of the season.

With Butler absent, Heat forward James Johnson -- who reported to camp this season out of condition -- got in the game in the first quarter and made his first shot, a corner 3-pointer. He finished with 12 points in his first appearance since Nov. 27.

McCollum, who is second on the Blazers in scoring and assists, was replaced by Gary Trent (six points).

Nunn, who scored Miami's first eight points, helped the Heat go up by as many as 14 points before settling for a 31-19 lead at the end of the first.

The Heat led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter and went to the break leading 65-46.

Dragic had 14 points and eight assists in 14 first-half minutes, and the Heat shot 60.5 percent, including 9 of 20 on 3-pointers (45.0 percent). Portland shot 35.7 percent in the first half, including 3-of-14 on 3-pointers (21.4 percent).

Portland got back in the game with a 19-5 third-quarter run, but Miami righted itself and entered the fourth with a 94-81 lead. The Heat coasted from there.

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