Hornets 91 - HEAT 95 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain

The Miami HEAT defeated the Charlotte Hornets 95-91 Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Josh Richardson led the way for the HEAT with 19 points.

1. J. Rich Goes Off In The Fourth

With Charlotte up by seven heading into the fourth quarter, Richardson did all he could to make sure Miami came out ahead.

In addition to locking down Nicolas Batum down the stretch and holding him to a scoreless fourth, Richardson also got it done on the offensive end with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting in the period.

No sequence was more impressive than this fantastic and-one that put the HEAT up for good:

In all, Richardson amassed five assists, two boards, one steal and one block to go along with his team-high 19 points on 6-of-13 shooting.

2. Ellington Seals It & Makes History

Although Wayne Ellington has had better shooting nights this season, his activity on the offensive end was so important for Miami on Saturday. Time and time again, he commanded a lot of attention from the Hornets and opened things up for his teammates.

Oh yeah, he also nailed the dagger three with 4.6 seconds left that gave him a single-season career-high 150 on the year.

Talk about a special moment.

Ellington finished with 17 points, two rebounds, one assist and a plus-17 rating.

3. Olynyk Provides A Spark

From the very moment he stepped onto the court, Kelly Olynyk gave the HEAT a much-needed boost of energy.

After attacking Frank Kaminsky early on with some nifty drives, he hit his lone three of the game about midway through the fourth thanks to a fake handoff to Ellington (of course).

Olynyk ended up with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, four boards, a team-high six assists and a plus-18 rating.

Other Takeaways:

-As usual, Bam Adebayo brought instant energy off the bench and continued to show his worth as a two-way player.

While this huge slam in the second quarter off a nice drop step was great…

….the rookie also showed his versatility on the defensive end. After a forcing Jeremy Lamb to shoot a tough three, he blocked Dwight Howard inside shortly thereafter.

In all, Adebayo had eight points on 4-of-6 shooting, a team-high 12 rebounds and a plus-13 rating to go along with that aforementioned block.

-Early in the contest, Justise Winslow handled the ball extremely well and got Miami into offense.

Need proof?

Just take a look at this lob to Adebayo early in the second quarter:

All that said, Winslow’s biggest contribution came later on when he helped hold Kemba Walker to just 1-of-8 shooting in the fourth quarter.

When it was all said and done, Winslow tallied six points, seven rebounds, four assists and a team-high plus-25 rating.

Game Note:

-Derrick Walton Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment), Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery), Okaro White (left foot surgery), Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery) and A.J. Hammons (Sioux Falls assignment) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will embark on a four-game road trip that starts Monday night against the Mavericks at 8:30 PM. Miami’s next home game won’t be until Feb. 5 against the Magic at 7:30 PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.

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