The Miami HEAT defeated the Charlotte Hornets 109-106 Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The game was presented by Miami Cancer Institute at Baptist Health South Florida. Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson both led the way with 18 points apiece.
1. Richardson Does It Again
What else can you say about Richardson at this point? To put it simply, the former Tennessee Volunteer kept up his sharp play on both ends of the floor. Although he knocked down a few treys as usual, his most impressive play came on an attack to the basket in the third quarter.
With 7:02 to go in the period, Richardson drove past Malik Monk on the left wing and converted the tough left-handed finish over Dwight Howard.
On the flip side of the ball, the 24-year-old defended multiple guys, including Monk, Kemba Walker and even Dwayne Bacon.
In other words, it was what you’ve come to expect from the do-it-all player. When it was all said and done, Richardson accumulated four rebounds and a steal to go along with his team-high 18 points.
2. The Brothers Johnson Return
Guess who’s back?
After not playing that much together earlier in the preseason, Tyler Johnson and James Johnson put on a show when they checked in against Charlotte. From screen-handoffs to baseline cuts and nifty finishes inside, the duo brought a little bit of everything to the table.
Oh, and this tomahawk jam from James Johnson thanks to a steal from Rodney McGruder was pretty cool, too.
Throughout the contest, Tyler Johnson did his usual damage from the perimeter, while James Johnson showed his brute strength on drives to basket.
In addition to his 18 points on 6-of-12 shooting, Tyler Johnson also had three assists and two boards. James Johnson, meanwhile, finished with 13 points, four rebounds and four assists.
3. Waiters on the Attack
That’s exactly what Dion Waiters did on Monday night, as the 25-year-old relentlessly attacked the basket, collapsed the defense and set up his teammates with some solid feeds. As such, he led Miami with eight assists on the evening.
Of course, Waiters also scored himself thanks to those aforementioned drives to the rim and a handful of jumpers.
We also can’t forget about this thunderous baseline jam in the first quarter.
On the defensive end, Waiters hounded Marvin Williams for most of the contest. In all, Philly Cheese scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbed four rebounds to go along with his previously mentioned assists.
-After a quiet first three quarters, Justise Winslow helped seal the deal for the HEAT late in the fourth quarter. How so? Just check this out.
Winslow ended up with four points and five boards against the Hornets.
-Kelly Olynyk kicked off the game with a catch-and-shoot corner three and never looked back. In short, the newcomer continued to look comfortable with his new teammates and showed his versatility throughout.
He also worked hard on the defensive end, such as on this steal and hit ahead to Richardson for the jam.
Olynyk finished with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting, a team-high 12 rebounds and four assists.
-Goran Dragić (rest) and A.J. Hammons (illness) sat out.
-Up next for the HEAT are the Washington Wizards on Wednesday at 7:30 PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.