Goran Dragic played against his former team, the Phoenix Suns, for the first time since being traded to the Miami Heat. Dragic played through the back spasms that have pained him for a few days. Playing against the team that called him selfish after trading him could not be downplayed.
Dragic finished with 21 points and the Heat beat the Suns 115-98. The intensity was evident with two third-quarter altercations, three ejections and six player technicals. My guess is the NBA office will get the last word. Tyler Johnson added a career-high 26 points off the bench.
“It means a lot,” Dragic said. “It was a tough game. You can see a lot of technicals, ejections, but it’s a man’s sport. I thought we played awesome tonight.”
Hassan Whiteside finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds before getting ejected for Miami. Alex Len and Markieff Morris were also tossed early. Morris was ejected for a flagrant-2 foul against Dragic, and Len and Whiteside both departed after a little meet and greet under the Miami basket.
Phoenix beat the Heat in 30 of the teams’ first 39 meetings, but now has lost 13 of the last 14 including the past 10.