I don’t know what it is about these games with the Heat. It might be the playoff implications. It might be the way these teams match up. Whatever it is, it makes for ugly basketball. The Heat shot 39.5% from the field, a significant victory over the Hornets’ 31.3%. That number was accentuated by the Hornets 19.4% from three.
This game was evenly played through three quarters. Neither team built a lead larger than eight at any point, and the game was either tied or within a point at the end of each of three quarters. That changed in the fourth quarter, when the Hornets hit their now typical lull. They scored only 15 points in the frame compared to Miami’s 32, and that made the difference.
Kemba Walker scored just 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting, arguably his worst game of the season. Jeremy Lamb was the only Hornet to play anything resembling a good game. He scored 21 points on 8-of-20 shooting, including three 3-pointers made.
This loss does double damage to the Hornets playoff hopes. For one, it puts them two games back of Miami, who currently holds the eight seed. This loss also means the Heat win the season series, giving them the tiebreaker over the Hornets. That means the Hornets are effectively three games behind the Heat with just 13 games to play.
Up next for the Hornets is a three game home stand, starting with the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.