Dragic stars as Heat pound Hornets to win series

Sun May 1, 2016 5:23pm EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Miami point guard Goran Dragic had a game-high 25 points as the Heat advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals by routing the Charlotte Hornets 106-73 in a deciding Game 7 on Sunday.

The Heat will play the winner of Sunday other Game 7 between the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers.

"The paint was more open, and I could attack," Slovenian Dragic said. "(The Hornets) didn't rotate so quickly. I had more room to operate, and it was a little bit easier than it was earlier."

Miami, which never trailed, also got 16 points from Gerald Green, 15 points from Luol Deng, 12 points from Dwyane Wade and 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks from Hassan Whiteside.

"I'm not a prophet," Wade said, "but I knew we were winning this game."

Charlotte, which just a few days ago had a 3-2 series lead, failed to close out the Heat. Hornets guard Kemba Walker, who had 37 points against Miami on Friday, was held to nine points on 3-for-16 shooting. He also had a game-high three turnovers.

Dragic and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra praised Walker despite his poor final game.

"Kemba is an unbelievable player," Dragic said. "It's tough to stay in front of him. We knew he was going to be aggressive, maybe try to catch us being tired. We did an amazing job of team defense."

Spoelstra said it was a "travesty" that Walker was not named an All-Star this season.   Continued...

May 1, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) drives to the basket as Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin (7) looks on during the second half in game seven of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports