HEAT 106 - Hornets 105 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Kent Smith
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT defeated the Charlotte Hornets 106-105 Saturday night at Spectrum Center. Wayne Ellington led the way for the HEAT with 26 points.

1. JJ Never Quits

There’s a reason why James Johnson is one of Miami’s captains.

With a bunch of guys out, Johnson did everything he could to make up for their absence and initiated offense from the very beginning.

And then with the game on the line, he scored five points in less than five seconds to tie the game at 105.

(Also take note of the fantastic steal by Josh Richardson on Nicolas Batum.)

Simply put, Johnson emptied the tank and bounced back after some tough offensive outings of late.

On the flip side of the ball, the burly forward helped hold Marvin Williams to a scoreless night on 0-of-5 shooting.

Talk about a complete performance.

Johnson finished with 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting, six boards, a team-high seven assists and a team-high plus-10 rating.

2. KO Goes Off In The Fourth…Again

There’s something about Kelly Olynyk in the fourth quarter. Over the past week or so, the 7-footer has done his best work when it matters most.

That rang true once more on Saturday, as Olynyk led the team with 14 points in the fourth, including this clutch free throw that put the HEAT up for good:

Olynyk finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

3. Ellington Stays Golden

While Wayne Ellington mixed things up in his first start of the season and had this nifty scoop shot in the third….

…."The Man With The Golden Arm” lived up to his nickname and led Miami with six made treys, including three in the fourth.

Just take a look at this extremely tough triple in the final period with Charlotte’s best perimeter defender in Michael Kidd-Gilchrist right on him:

Gold.

In addition to his team-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting, Ellington also tallied three assists and a steal.

4. J. Rich On The Attack

Josh Richardson was aggressive from the opening tip, as he converted a number of tough finishes at the basket, including this one early in the third quarter after absorbing contact from Kemba Walker:

Of course, Richardson also got his hands dirty on the defensive end and competed hard against Walker, Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeremy Lamb. You also can’t forget that aforementioned steal on Batum that set up JJ’s three down the stretch.

When it was all said and done, Richardson amassed 17 points, five assists, three boards, two blocks and a plus-nine rating to go along with that steal.

Other Takeaways:

-Although Bam Adebayo fought hard against Dwight Howard and made some noise in the second quarter with this steal and slam late in the period…

…nothing was more impactful than this deflection on the final play of the game:

The rookie ended up with six points on 3-of-4 shooting, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block and a plus-eight rating.

Game Note:

-Goran Dragić (left knee bruise) sat out. Tyler Johnson (left ankle sprain), Dion Waiters (left ankle sprain), Okaro White (left foot surgery), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) and A.J. Hammons (Sioux Falls assignment) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will wrap up their road trip in Houston on Monday when they face the Rockets at 8:00 PM. Miami won’t be in action at AmericanAirlines Arena until Thursday at 7:30 against the Kings. Tickets for that game can be found here.