Hornets Come Up Short Against Red-Hot Heat

By Sam Perley, hornets.com

Result

For the second time in as many nights, a rough third quarter sealed another loss for the Hornets as they fell to the Miami Heat, 112-99, on Wednesday, April 5 in Charlotte. Much like their performance against the Washington Wizards one game earlier, the Hornets’ perimeter defense was picked apart again by a sharp-shooting Heat team that knocked down 21 three-pointers, tied for the most ever by a Charlotte opponent in a single game. With the loss, the Hornets fall to 2.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with three contests remaining.

Turning Point

Leading 52-51 at the break, the Heat connected on 11-of-24 third-quarter field-goal attempts (45.8 percent), which included a 5-of-11 mark from three-point range (45.5 percent), to outscore Charlotte, 34-22, in the frame. Miami took a 13-point advantage into the fourth and never let the Hornets get closer than eight down the stretch, snapping a two-game losing streak with an easy victory.

Hornets Player of the Game

Nicolas Batum accounted for a team-high 24 points, three rebounds and a game-high seven assists in the loss. Batum also went a perfect 12-of-12 from the free-throw line, the most attempts without a miss in a game by a Hornets player since Kemba Walker on March 10, 2014 (12).

Heat Player of the Game

Goran Dragic racked up a game-high 33 points on 13-of-21 shooting, four assists and a game-high-tying two steals in the victory. The 33-point outing is tied for Dragic’s second-highest scoring performance of the season, trailing only a 34-point game against the Washington Wizards on Dec. 12.

Game Notes

Marvin Williams recorded his career-high 11th double-double of the season, finishing with 15 points and a team-high 12 rebounds… Kemba Walker chipped in 18 points, two rebounds and five assists… Frank Kaminsky added 13 points in 22 minutes off the bench… Marco Belinelli left the game in the second quarter and did not return for Charlotte (left index finger strain)… Miami knocked down a franchise-record 21-of-40 three-point shots (52.5 percent)… Charlotte connected on 21-of-24 free-throw attempts (87.5 percent) while the Heat went 11-of-12 from the charity stripe (91.7 percent)… Miami won the rebounding battle, 40-36, which included a 7-4 advantage in offensive boards.

Quote of the Night

“Tonight was six [games] in nine [days] for us. I don’t make excuses for our guys, but that was not lack of effort. We [were] exhausted. I mean, these games have been taxing. We’ve been playing every game like an elimination game. I think you could see right from the beginning we had no legs. Some nights you’re disappointed because you think they can play harder. I don’t think that was the case at all [tonight].” – Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford

Quote of the Night

“Tonight was six [games] in nine [days] for us. I don’t make excuses for our guys, but that was not lack of effort. We [were] exhausted. I mean, these games have been taxing. We’ve been playing every game like an elimination game. I think you could see right from the beginning we had no legs. Some nights you’re disappointed because you think they can play harder. I don’t think that was the case at all [tonight].” – Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford

Next Up

The Hornets will conclude their regular season home schedule against the Boston Celtics starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 in Charlotte. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.


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