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Recap: LaMelo Ball's return spoiled as Hornets lose to Heat, 132-115

LaMelo Ball had a decent return, but the Hornets couldn't get stops when they needed them.

NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

LaMelo Ball scored 15 points to go along with six assists and six rebounds, but the Charlotte Hornets fell to the Miami Heat 132-115.

LaMelo Ball's presence could be felt immediately. His energy and pace energized the team and the offense looked much more cohesive. He made a couple of runners in the lane. Kelly Oubre joined in on the offense and led the team in scoring. Defensively, the Hornets struggled to contain Max Strus on the perimeter and let the Heat get easy baskets in the pain, but the offense was good enough to keep pace. Ball went coast to coast to hit this floater to keep the Hornets within one at the quarter intermission.

The second quarter wasn't as breakneck. The teams traded baskets for most of the period with the Heat holding a one to two possession stiff arm for most of the way. The Hornets finally got the lead on a Terry Rozier backdoor cut from Mason Plumlee for a three point play. A Theo Maledon floater gave the Hornets 59 points, and they led by two heading into the half.

The Hear retook and built up a lead with a 15-5 run coming out of the break. The lead grew to double figures as the Hornets didn't make a defensive stop until the 5:26 mark of the third quarter, and that was only due to a miscommunication that resulted in Bam Adebayo throwing a pass out of bounds. At that point, the Hornets trailed by 16. The Hornets ended up allowing 45 points in the quarter and trailed by 18 heading into the fourth.

Seven straight from Nick Richards, including this signature find from LaMelo Ball, pulled the Hornets closer, but the Heat were able to answer.

The teams traded some baskets, but a small Heat run capped by Max Strus's eighth three of the night served as the dagger. Ball did cash in a three as the game wound down, which should hopefully serve as momentum going forward.

The Hornets looked good on offense with Ball back in the lineup, but the defense was a disaster. The return of Dennis Smith Jr. should help with that.

Terry Rozier scored 22 and Kelly Oubre scored 20 to lead the way. Richards came off the bench to match Ball's 15 points.