Heat can’t slow Eric Gordon, beaten at home by Pelicans
MIAMI (AP) — Anthony Davis left in the opening minutes while clutching his shoulder in agony, and Ryan Anderson departed not long afterward with a knee injury.
Somehow, it still turned out to be a good night for New Orleans.
Eric Gordon scored 16 of his 24 points in the third quarter, Omer Asik added 15 and the Pelicans snapped a four-game slide by beating the emotionally drained Miami Heat 105-91 on Saturday night.
"When A.D. and Ryan went down I didn’t see anybody buckle," New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. "We beat a good team on their home floor."
Mario Chalmers scored 20 points for Miami, which was playing for the first time since learning earlier in the day that All-Star forward Chris Bosh will miss the remainder of the season with blood clots on one of his lungs. It also spoiled the Miami debut of newly acquired guard Goran Dragic, a third-team All-NBA player with Phoenix last season.
"A very emotional day," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Dwyane Wade scored 19 points and Hassan Whiteside finished with 11 points and 16 rebounds for the Heat, who kept the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference standings despite the loss.
Dragic, who got a crash-course in the Heat playbook about three hours before the game and was still studying on a tablet not long before tipoff, scored 12.
"We have some work to do," Spoelstra said. "It looked like we were strangers out there. We can fix that."
Davis departed with 3:07 left in the first quarter, moments after he attempted a shot and made contact with Whiteside. Davis — who missed two games earlier this month, plus the All-Star Game because of the shoulder issue — immediately grimaced in pain, then hobbled off the court while grabbing the shoulder even before play could be stopped.
The NBA’s No. 4 scorer coming into the night at 24.3 points per game, Davis finished with six points and six rebounds.
Anderson was ruled out shortly before halftime after spraining his right knee jostling for a rebound. Williams said both Anderson and Davis would be evaluated further on Sunday.
"They’ve got to go through the paces," Williams said. "They’re pretty sore right now."
Up 10 at the half, New Orleans put the game away by outscoring Miami 33-23 in the third quarter.
Dragic, who was scoreless in the first half, made all four of his shots in that period for Miami — but Gordon was 5 for 7 from the floor for the Pelicans, including 4 for 4 from 3-point range.
"I was just locked in," Gordon said. "You have to take advantage of the opportunity."
Pelicans: New Orleans is a game above .500 (28-27), and still six games behind fourth-place San Antonio in the five-team Southwest Division. … Gordon was averaging 11 points in his most recent six games before Saturday. His 16 third-quarter points matched the biggest single-quarter scoring output in any game of his career.
Heat: At one point in the second quarter, Chalmers was 7 for 7 from the field. His teammates were a combined 3 for 21. … The Dragic brothers — Zoran Dragic was also part of the trade — were both quickly edited into the team pregame video, plus had new nameplates already over their lockers. … Miami is 6-0 against teams from New York (3-0 vs. Knicks, 3-0 vs. Nets) this season, and 17-31 against everyone else.
Pelicans G Norris Cole needed directions to the visitors’ locker room — which made sense, since he never used it before. Cole, part of the three-team deal that sent Dragic to Miami, got two warm ovations from the crowd as well as a tribute video in his first game against the Heat. Cole, a two-time NBA champion from his Heat years, scored 12 points in 30 minutes.
With Dragic immediately slotted into the starting lineup, the Heat had yet another new opening five — their 22nd in 54 games this season.
Pelicans: Host Toronto on Monday night.
Heat: Host Philadelphia on Monday night.