Heat (41-29), Pelicans (26-44)
New Orleans trailed by as many as 22 points against a playoff-bound Miami squad Tuesday, rallied to pull within five points of the Heat in the fourth quarter, but ultimately couldn’t dig out of its early hole. The Pelicans finished 1-2 on their three-game homestand, playing nearly all of it without a handful of primary contributors, including five of their top six scorers this season against the Clippers and Heat. New Orleans will head to Indiana next for a Thursday road game.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Dwyane Wade sank a patented turnaround mid-range jumper with 1:57 left, giving Miami a 109-97 lead. The Heat experienced a few anxious moments when the Pelicans cut into the visitors’ edge in the fourth quarter, but were able to regain control with a series of baskets prior to Wade’s game-sealing shot.
PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME
Luke Babbitt nearly registered his career high in scoring, compiling a 23-point game that was one shy of tying the 24 points he put up for New Orleans in a April 2014 game at Houston. The southpaw went 10/19 from the field in his 36 minutes of action, behind a nice mix of three-pointers (2/2), mid-range jumpers and methodical drives to the basket.
PELICANS UNSUNG CONTRIBUTOR
Omer Asik approached a double-double, notching eight points and nine rebounds in only 22 minutes, two days after his 15-point, 14-board performance vs. the Clippers. Babbitt and Asik (3/6 from the field) were the only New Orleans starters who did not endure rough shooting nights.