Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler each scored 18 for Miami, which trailed by 16 in the first half. Lowry scored 17 for the Heat, the last nine of those coming in a span of 1:42 down the stretch.
New Orleans’ 25th turnover came on a five-second violation with 15.1 seconds left, with the Heat up by two. The Heat needed two time-outs before they could get the ball inbounds, and wound up losing a jump ball anyway with 12.2 seconds remaining.
McCollum got a good look at a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, but it rimmed out and Victor Oladipo put the game away with two free throws.
The Heat turned those 25 New Orleans turnovers into 28 points. New Orleans turned 22 Miami turnovers into 31 points.
The Heat had eight turnovers turned into 15 points in the first quarter alone, the last three coming when Devonte’ Graham intercepted a pass at midcourt and swished a 45-footer. Graham then opened the second quarter with a more conventional 3, giving him six points in a span of 22 seconds and helping New Orleans take a big lead early.
The Pelicans led by 16 points on two occasions in the first half, the last coming when Murphy had a dunk with 3:52 left. That made it 47-31, and that was still the score 2 minutes later when Herro made a 3 to begin what was a 10-0 run to end the half by the Heat.
That cut the deficit to six at halftime, and it stayed a single-digit game the rest of the way.
Pelicans: Brandon Ingram (toe) missed his 28th consecutive game, but played 5-on-5 on Saturday and is “progressing,” coach Willie Green said. ... Zion Williamson is in his fourth season, and still hasn’t played before fans in Miami. He has missed six of the eight Heat-Pelicans games since he entered the league, and his only time playing in Miami was Christmas 2020, when the building was empty because of the pandemic.
Heat: Some of the FTX signage is gone from the building, which is being called Miami-Dade Arena for now. The logo of the collapsed cryptocurrency exchange has been removed from the playing floor. ... Dewayne Dedmon did not play for the fifth consecutive game, not including the one he missed while suspended for an Jan. 10 incident against Oklahoma City.
Green had a windmill dunk during the team’s practice in Miami on Saturday, the video captured and shared by Daniel Bove — New Orleans’ Director of Sports Science and Performance. “You get in this humidity and it warms your ligaments up a bit,” Green said. “I don’t know if I could do the same thing in Cleveland or Detroit.”
ANOTHER CLOSE ONE
The game was the 35th for Miami decided by eight points or less this season. The Heat are now 19-16 in such games.
Pelicans: Host Denver on Tuesday.
Heat: Host Boston on Tuesday.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press