Where EAST meets the Northwest
Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra watches during the fourth quarter of a
National Basketball Association (NBA) basketball game against the New Orleans
Pelicans, on Friday, December 25, 2020, in Miami. Spoelstra improved his
Christmas record as Heat coach to 8-0, as the Heat beat the New Orleans
Pelicans, 111-98. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)
Spoelstra stays perfect on Christmas — 8-0
By Tim Reynolds
The Associated Press
MIAMI (AP) — Erik Spoelstra remained perfect on Christmas, and a record-tying
show from Duncan Robinson helped him stay that way.
Robinson made seven 3-pointers — tying the Christmas single-game mark — and
scored 23 points, helping the Heat beat the New Orleans Pelicans 111-98 to start
the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) holiday quintupleheader.
"It’s super special to play in Christmas," Robinson said. "I certainly don’t
take it for granted."
Goran Dragic scored 18 points, Bam Adebayo had 17, and Avery Bradley finished
with 12 for Miami, and Spoelstra improved his Christmas record as Heat coach to
"I wasn’t even aware of that," Spoelstra said. "Just shows you that we’ve had
some really good teams here and teams that have had the opportunity to play on
Precious Achiuwa and Tyler Herro each scored 11 for Miami, which lost Jimmy
Butler at halftime with right ankle stiffness.
Zion Williamson had 32 points and 14 rebounds in 38 minutes for New Orleans —
the rebounds and minutes both being career highs. Brandon Ingram finished with
But the Pelicans shot 40% to Miami’s 51%.
"We made some defensive mistakes that we shouldn’t have," said Josh Hart, who
scored 12 for New Orleans. "Lack of communication. We’ve got to communicate
better on the defensive end."
Robinson’s seven 3s tied the Christmas mark Ingram set last year.
"The guy is a great, great shooter. He’s going to have nights like that,"
Pelicans coach Stan Van Gundy said. "But at least three of them were ones where
we could have done a better job."
JJ Redick’s 3-pointer with 7:43 left cut Miami’s lead to 91-85 and came
during a stretch when the Heat went five minutes without a field goal. But the
Pelicans got no closer.
The Heat restored order by scoring 11 of the game’s next 13 points, and when
Achiuwa — the rookie who had strong defensive minutes — forced Williamson into a
turnover with 3:55 left, the entire Miami bench rose in celebration.
"We knew they would make a run, but we stayed composed," Dragic said.
New Orleans led 17-9 midway through the opening quarter — and got outscored
52-21 by Miami over the next 13˝ minutes, with the Heat hitting nine of their 13
first-half 3s in that span on the way to a 23-point lead.
The Pelicans chipped away, getting within 66-53 at the half and 88-79 after
three. But New Orleans shot only 30% in the final quarter and Ingram went
scoreless in those 12 minutes after playing the entire third period.
Van Gundy lamented playing Ingram so much in the third.
"Probably not optimal play-calling on my part, either," Van Gundy sai
Read the current issue of The Asian Reporter in its entirety!
Go to <www.asianreporter.com/completepaper.htm>!