Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Shuts Down Miami Late

By Sam Perley, hornets.com

Result

For the second-consecutive night, a huge third-quarter showing by the hometown Hornets was the key to victory as they pulled out a 91-82 win over the Miami Heat on Thursday, Dec. 29 in Charlotte. Trailing by seven at halftime, the Hornets erupted in the third quarter by converting six Miami turnovers into 11 points and outscoring the Heat overall in the frame, 31-17, to take control of the game entering the fourth. The win marked Charlotte’s third-straight regular season victory over Miami, its longest such streak since the 2009-10 NBA season.

Turning Point

After taking a seven-point advantage over Miami entering the fourth quarter, Charlotte saw its lead dwindle down to just four with 2:46 remaining in the game. Following a pair of empty possessions for both teams, Kemba Walker pulled up and buried a huge three-pointer from the top of the arc to put the Hornets up, 89-82, with 1:40 left on the clock. Cody Zeller then blocked Tyler Johnson’s layup attempt at the other end and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist drained another jumper with 33.5 seconds left to seal the win for Charlotte.

Hornets Player of the Game

Nicolas Batum led the way once again with 16 points and game-high totals in rebounding (13), assists (8) and steals (3) in the victory. This is Batum’s team-leading 10th double-double of the season, one shy of matching his total from the entire 2015-16 NBA campaign.

Heat Player of the Game

Tyler Johnson notched 18 points on 8-of-16 shooting, seven rebounds, five assists and a team-high two steals in 28 minutes off the bench in the loss. This is tied for Johnson’s fifth-highest scoring performance of the season.

Game Notes

Kemba Walker finished with a game-high 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists, becoming the youngest and fourth player overall in franchise history to score 7,000 career points… Marvin Williams chipped in 13 points and two assists… Jeremy Lamb just missed a double-double, tallying 10 points and eight rebounds… Cody Zeller chipped in nine points, seven rebounds and two assists… Charlotte won the rebounding battle, 54-46, which included a 11-4 advantage in offensive boards… The Hornets outscored the Heat in second-chance points, 14-4… Miami had 17 turnovers leading to 21 points for Charlotte while the Hornets had just nine giveaways leading to six points for the Heat.

Quote of the Night

“The thing I liked was obviously the third quarter where we played well again. We have struggled with our fourth-quarter defense for much of the year, including Monday [in Brooklyn], and tonight we did a good job with that. Three [games] in four nights and they’re a very hard-playing, athletic, attacking team. You know, there’s some good things and we’ll try to build on it, but you know, that’s five [wins] out of six [games] and we’re playing better.” – Hornets head coach Steve Clifford.

Quote of the Night


“The thing I liked was obviously the third quarter where we played well again. We have struggled with our fourth-quarter defense for much of the year, including Monday [in Brooklyn], and tonight we did a good job with that. Three [games] in four nights and they’re a very hard-playing, athletic, attacking team. You know, there’s some good things and we’ll try to build on it, but you know, that’s five [wins] out of six [games] and we’re playing better.” – Hornets head coach Steve Clifford.

Next Up

The Hornets take on the Cavaliers starting at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 31 in Charlotte. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.


next up

Saturday Dec 31 – 7:00 pmSpectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

Fox Sports Southeast – Charlotte Hornets App & WFNZ 610 AM

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