Miles Bridges led Charlotte with 29 points, six rebounds and four assists. LaMelo Ball posted 18 points, 14 assists and five rebounds. Terry Rozier totaled 16 points and six assists. PJ Washington registered 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. Jalen McDaniels put up 11 points and two steals off the bench.
Tyler Herro finished with 35 points on 11-18 shooting (6-10 3P) along with six rebounds to lead Miami. Jimmy Butler tallied 27 points, five rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Bam Adebayo turned in 22 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Duncan Robinson had 21 points on 7-11 from deep. Caleb Martin and Max Strus both scored 12 points.
Rozier completed an and-one for the game’s first points. Ball canned a pair of deep threes, giving the Hornets a 9-0 lead before Adebayo broke the ice for Miami at the line two minutes in. Bridges added a three the next trip, and it took the Hornets 3:26 before they missed a shot. Adebayo was a key cog in Miami’s offense in the early-going. Washington threw down an athletic jam following a timeout. Robinson briefly tied the game from distance, but Ball’s assist to McDaniels for a dunk in the closing seconds gave the Hornets a 32-29 lead.
McDaniels scored seven quick points off the bench, capped off by a walk-up transition three. Butler got Kelly Oubre Jr. to bite on a pump fake, finished through contact and hit the and-one free throw to give the Heat their first lead of the night, 42-41. Plumlee batted a rebound out to a waiting Isaiah Thomas on the right wing for a rhythm jumper. Herro’s runner gave Miami a 46-41 lead, but the Hornets took it right back with a 7-2 run. The teams traded leads for a bit in the middle of the second before Robinson’s fifth three sparked a 17-6 Heat run into the locker room, giving them a 70-60 advantage.
Mason Plumlee dropped in a reverse layup that began an 8-0 Hornets run after the break, bringing the game within one possession before Adebayo’s three-point play halted the run. Bridges’ strong takes and finishing around the rim kept the Hornets close until Washington flipped in a righty lay-in to give Charlotte their first lead of the half, 80-79. The middle of the third was a track meet as both teams were gunning from deep, answering each others runs. Caleb Martin sank a triple and his brother Cody hit one of his own on the next trip. Herro’s long-range sniping helped Miami counter a beautiful mid-range turnaround from McDaniels and soft floater from Ball, putting them ahead 102-97 after three.
McDaniels finished at the rim to open the fourth. Thomas fouled Herro on a three-point attempt, and he buried all three free throws. Heat stand-in coach Chris Quinn successfully challenged a charge call on Butler that was overturned to a block on Oubre as the Hornets quickly went down double-digits, 109-99 with Ball on the bench. He wouldn’t enter the game until the Hornets were already down 15 and the game wasn’t salvageable. Miami’s early-quarter run buried them and they kept raining from downtown to boot, earning them a 144-114 victory, the second-highest scoring game in Heat franchise history. Twenty-three made three-pointers set a Heat franchise record.
My takeaway from this one; let’s move on to Thursday.