Hornets.com postgame: Heat 106, Hornets 90
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Heat (13-5), Hornets (5-14)
It was over when… Miami’s Shane Battier drained a corner three-pointer with about 2:35 remaining, giving the hosts a 101-87 advantage. The Heat threatened to pull away several times during the second half, but the Hornets kept hanging around and were still within striking distance until a late Miami burst. New Orleans, which has had the NBA’s most difficult schedule, lost back-to-back games this weekend to the best team in the Western Conference (Grizzlies) and second-best in the East (Heat).
Hornets MVP: Ryan Anderson paced the Hornets with 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting, but let’s go with Robin Lopez, who produced well above his season average by totaling 20 points. Lopez finished 7-for-10 from the field, sparking New Orleans to a 32-31 lead after a quarter by dropping in 10 points. Facing a Heat squad that relies almost exclusively on small lineups, the 7-foot Lopez used his size advantage to score off hook shots, layups and one dunk. The Stanford product also had eight rebounds and one block.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Jason Smith was the lone New Orleans reserve to score more than six points on Saturday. He was particularly needed in the second quarter, when he accounted for 10 of the team’s 15 points. Smith wound up 6-for-12 from the field, while the balance of the substitutes went a combined 5-for-21. Smith drained five jumpers and tipped in a miss for his six buckets.
The buzz on… the eventual return of Anthony Davis. After 12 losses in the past 14 games, nothing would make Hornets fans smile more than seeing their club become fully healthy. It appears that is a step closer to happening, with the No. 1 overall pick recently having increased his conditioning workouts. Prior to Saturday’s game in Miami, general manager Dell Demps saidDavis is moving closer to getting back on the court. “He looked pretty good,” Demps said ofDavis’ Saturday workout. “He went through a series of tests this week, and he passed all of them. We’re hoping to have him back next week. I think he has one more test to pass, but just watching him in pregame today was very encouraging.” The Hornets have a scheduled off day Sunday, then are slated to practice Monday morning inNew Orleans. They host the Washington Wizards in their next game Tuesday, followed by a Wednesday game at Oklahoma City.