Dragic scores 27 as Heat hold on for 111-110 win over Jazz

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Goran Dragic scored 27 points and the Miami Heat continued to play better on the road with a 111-110 victory over the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

James Johnson scored a season-high 24 points off the bench and Wayne Ellington added 17 for the Heat, who have five of their seven wins on the road.

The Jazz had the ball with 3.9 seconds remaining and Gordon Hayward missed a contested midrange jumper before time expired.

The Heat attacked the rim relentlessly throughout the game to score 64 points in the paint. The Jazz allowed a season-high 58 points in the paint to the Heat in mid-November.

Hayward had 32 points and seven assists. Joe Johnson chipped in 18 points as the Jazz lost despite knocking down a franchise-record 17 3-pointers in 30 attempts.

A 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter gave the Heat a 12-point lead and Miami barely hung on the rest of the way.

The Heat took a 52-48 lead into halftime thanks to a 19-2 run highlighted by eight points from Ellington. The Jazz answered with a 12-2 stretch to close the half and cut into the lead.

The Jazz came into the game allowing just 38.9 points per game in the paint, tied for No. 4 in the league.


Heat: Josh Richardson did not travel due to a sprained right ankle. … Dion Waiters missed his third consecutive game with a pectineus (groin) tear. … Luke Babbit left the game in the second quarter with a right hip flexor and did not return.

Jazz: George Hill did not play due to a sprained left big toe. … Rodney Hood did not play due to hamstring injury. … Joe Johnson, Boris Diaw and Dante Exum all started due to injuries.


Exum returned to the starting lineup with Hill out despite seeing the floor little recently. Exum had played less than nine minutes in the previous four games, including not playing at all Monday. Jazz coach Quin Snyder said Exum isn't playing as much after starting 41 games as a rookie, in part, due to an improved roster. Still, Exum has struggled this season.

''He's probably tired of me talking to him,'' Snyder said. ''You can't talk to a player every time there's any kind of change. … By and large I'd like to think our guys have a clear understanding of what we want from them individually and how that fits into what we're trying to do as a team.

''Dante's going through some things right now that are akin to what a lot of people go through as a rookie. … People just need to be patient and understand who he is and where he is. In a lot of ways he's better than he was his rookie year.''


Heat: Miami travels to face an underachieving Trail Blazers team featuring Damon Lillard.

Jazz: Utah hosts the Nuggets on Saturday. The teams have split their first two meetings this season.