Despite giving up a fourth quarter lead, the Charlotte Hornets managed to hold off the Miami Heat to win 78-76. Kemba Walker, in his first game back after missing two straight, lead the Hornets in scoring with 15 points. Bismack Biyombo recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Al Jefferson added 12 points on 6-11 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench.
For Miami, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh scored 17 points a piece, while Mario Chalmers had 13. They were the only Miami players to score in double figures.
Rebounding and defense were the keys tonight. The Hornets out rebounded the Heat 56-41, with Biyombo, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and Cody Zeller combing for 38 rebounds. Charlotte also had 20 offensive rebounds to Miami's 10, which created a lot of second chance points and extra possessions. The Hornets held Miami to a field goal percentage of just 34.7, and a 3-point percentage of 27.8.
The Hornets have held their last three opponents to 80 points or less, and with this win, move into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. If the Brooklyn Nets lose to the Sacramento Kings tonight, Charlotte would be in sole possession of eighth.
Up next, the Hornets hit the road to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.