The Miami Heat secured back-to-back wins against the Charlotte Hornets by fighting through a sloppy start and staying in command the rest of the way to a final score of 115-104 on Wednesday Night at the Kaseya Center.
The Heat’s 13 first-half turnovers were the most by the team for any half this NBA season but the Hornets’ inability to take advantage of the home club’s errors kept Miami within striking distance.
Following a close back-and-forth between both Southeast Division teams for most of the first two quarters, a 13-0 Heat spurt built on long jumpers from Kyle Lowry, Duncan Robinson, and Caleb Martin in the final minutes of the second period provided Miami the separation to stay in control of the contest.
Charlotte went on a last hurrah midway through the final period but the Heat, who have struggled in fourth quarters this NBA season, were able to keep them at bay.
Duncan Robinson led the winning team with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting while impressive rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. contributed 17 points, a career-high 8 assists, and 6 boards in 33 minutes off the bench.
Jimmy Butler registered 15 points, a season-high 10 assists, and 6 rebounds in only 29 minutes of action while Kyle Lowry contributed 17 points on 5-of-5 shooting in only 24 minutes. Neither player had to play in the fourth quarter with the supporting cast keeping the Heat’s lead secure, which is an encouraging sign for Miami given that they play the second game of a back-to-back against the visiting Chicago Bulls on Thursday.
The Heat won despite the absence of Tyler Herro (ankle), Bam Adebayo (hip), Haywood Highsmith (back), and Josh Richardson (headache). They are now 14-10 in the standings and remain undefeated in games against Southeast Division teams.
The Heat shot an efficient 47.7% from the field, 15/30 from downtown, and 18/19 from the foul stripe. Their 22 turnovers were a blemish but they recorded 29 assists on 41 made field goals. Miami also won the rebounding battle 47-31, including 17 offensive boards.
They improved to 14-10 and now get ready to play the visiting Chicago Bulls tomorrow night.