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Heat's Goran Dragic selected as All-Star replacement

MIAMI -- Goran Dragic was planning a vacation for All-Star weekend. He's happily changing those plans.

On Thursday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver selected the Miami Heat guard as an injury replacement for the Feb. 18 All-Star Game in Los Angeles. Dragic will replace Cleveland forward Kevin Love, who suffered a broken left hand.

Dragic will play for Team LeBron, the squad drafted by LeBron James. Dragic leads the Heat with averages of 17 points and 4.8 assists per game this season and will be Miami's lone representative at the All-Star Game.

Teammates mobbed him when they got the word Thursday.

"All the credit goes to them too," said Dragic, whose long-awaited first All-Star nod came in his 10th NBA season. "Without them, this would not be possible. They put me in the right spots so I can be my best, and I'm really grateful and thankful for that."

Silver made the pick diplomatically: Dragic was next in line, based on the number of voting points he received from NBA coaches among Eastern Conference players not already selected as a reserve or injury replacement.

Miami is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference. With Dragic in the lineup, the Heat have gone 56-30 since the midpoint of last season.

"Hopefully this shows that it's a by-product of winning and being recognized for winning," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said in Philadelphia, where the team was practicing. "Goran, we feel, is an All-Star. We're just thrilled that he got recognized by the other coaches."

Dragic is the eighth player to be selected to the All-Star Game as a member of the Heat, joining Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Anthony Mason, Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and James.

The NBA said Dragic also becomes the first Slovenian player to make an All-Star team. And he said his wife won't mind adjusting the getaway plans.

"I think L.A. is going to be fine," Dragic said.