Heat Top Pelicans to Boost Playoff Hopes

The Miami Heat started a five-game homestand with a 120-112 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

With the win, Miami moved into a tie for the eighth playoff spot for the time being. The Milwaukee Bucks will play a game on Wednesday as well. If the Bucks lose that contest, Miami would move a half-game ahead. If Milwaukee wins however, the Heat would fall back to a half-game behind.

The victory gave Miami a 33-35 record, and it continues to inch closer to the .500 mark. The Heat were well below that point earlier this season, and could now have a winning record within a week. Miami is also staying close to the sixth and seven seeds in the Eastern Conference.

Hassan Whiteside tallied a double-double for the tenth straight time. That is the second-longest streak for double-doubles in franchise history. Whiteside also has reached double digits in rebounds in 14 straight games, which is a franchise record he owns and now can keep extending. Whiteside’s totals in this one were 20 points and 17 rebounds. The center also blocked a pair of shot attempts.

Goran Dragic had 33 points and easily led the team in this one, despite playing with an injured eye. The guard also chipped in 5 rebounds, a steal and a block for good measure.

Wayne Ellington was Miami’s best reserve of the evening, with 19 points, two rebounds, an assist and a steal. Tyler Johnson gave Ellington some competition for the best work off the bench, with his ten points and nine assists. Johnson also added three steals of his own.

Miami’s homestand will continue on Friday when it hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves at 8:00 p.m.