Suppose you lived to see Christmas in the year 2020. It is a gift.
The Miami Heat played host to the New Orleans Pelicans on Christmas day; I don’t think either team took it for granted.
One team has gifted the win.
The Heat started slow but warmed up to beat the Pelicans 111-98 on the NBA’s most famous viewing holiday.
Duncan Robinson led the way in gifts given out. Robinson made seven 3-pointers — tying the Christmas single-game record — and scored 23 points.
Heat connected on 13 threes in the first half, the most for a first half in a Christmas game.
“If you want to great things in this league, you have to have really experienced talented veteran players,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We have three of them coming off the bench.”
Spoelstra improved his Christmas record as Heat coach to 8-0.
Miami lost Jimmy Butler at halftime with right ankle stiffness. He left the game with two made field goals for four points. Andre Iguodala started the second half for Butler.
Miami improved to 11-2 on Christmas. They hadn’t played on the holiday since beating New Orleans in 2015 and haven’t lost on Dec. 25 since 2007.
Goran Dragic contributed 18 points, Bam Adebayo had 17, and Avery Bradley finished with 12 for Miami. They were factors coming off the bench to help the Heat attack a deficit, eventually not turning back.
New Orleans led 17-9 halfway through the opening quarter but was outscored 52-21 by Miami over the three quarters, with the Heat hitting nine of their 13 first-half 3s in that span on the way to a 23-point lead.
“Probably not optimal play-calling on my part, either,” Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy said.
The Pelicans are now 1-3 on Christmas.
Heat forward Moe Harkless this week helped pay rent for about 50 New York families who are financially hurting this Christmas season in addiction covered lost wages and other essential expenses.
The beat goes on.
The Pelicans play host San Antonio on Sunday. The Heat host Milwaukee on Tuesday.