The Miami Heat had another rough go of things on Saturday night, getting blown out by Kevin Durant and the Nets, 110-95. Miami — which trailed by as many as 37 points in the game– also committed a whopping 21 turnovers. As a result, the club was outscored 24-5 on the fastbreak.
It was the Heat’s fourth loss in a row and the seventh in their last nine games. Moreover, the setback dropped them into second place in the Eastern Conference standings.
However, there was one good thing that happened in the contest. Specifically, former Heat favorite Goran Dragic made his FTX Arena return.
When he checked into the game, the veteran baller and former All-Star received a warm response from the South Beach faithful. He was also honored with a tribute video and a message from the Heat Twitter account, reading: “Miami will always be your home, @Goran_Dragic. We love you bratje! #TheDragon”
Dragic Is Still Ironing Out the Kinks
The Dragon didn’t have his best game for Brooklyn, scoring six points on 1-of-4 shooting in 21 minutes of play. But he did contribute four rebounds, four assists and a blocked shot. Meanwhile, the Heat were outscored by 14 points when he was on the court.
Clearly, the 35-year-old is still working to regain his form after spending the majority of the campaign on the sidelines, anxiously awaiting his eventual move out of Toronto.
In 13 games with the Nets (including six starts), Dragic is averaging 7.4 points, 5.1 assists and 2.8 rebounds. While his distributing has been on-point, he has struggled to find his feet as a shooter, connecting on just 36.8% of his attempts overall and 26.3% from three-point range.
He did manage to turn back the clock during a March 16 loss to the Mavs, though, scoring 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting while adding four dimes and three boards.
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Dragic Sounds off on His Big Return
After Dragic was dealt to the Spurs, who later bought him out, there was hope that he would find his way back to the Heat. He was even spotted working out in town and attending Miami’s games before he signed with Brooklyn.
Alas, the team was already on the verge of receiving some internal backcourt help with Victor Oladipo returning from injury. So, a rekindling of the partnership wasn’t in the cards. Nevertheless, the fire still burns for him in Miami and, clearly, the feeling is mutual for Dragic.
“It means a lot,” the baller later said of his reception. “You know, I spent seven years, six and a half years here. It’s always nice to get the reception like I did. I really appreciate the fans — what they did for me during those years — we had a blast.”