Hornets Complete 20-Point Comeback to Knock Off Miami Heat
Graham Scores 30 PTS, Charlotte Sends Miami to Just 5th Home Loss of the Season
The Charlotte Hornets quickly fell behind by 20 points in the first quarter before suddenly regrouping to take control in the second quarter in route to a 109-98 road win over the Miami Heat on Wednesday, March 11 at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Missing backcourt mate Terry Rozier (illness), Devonte’ Graham paved the way with a game-high 30 points (all between the second and fourth quarters) on 11-of-19 shooting and six assists in the victory. Graham knocked down 8-of-11 three-point attempts in the process, making him the fourth NBA player in the NBA this season to record at least four games with eight-or-more threes (Damian Lillard, James Harden, Duncan Robinson).
Miami led 40-22 after the first 12 minutes, connecting on staggering 16-of-19 shot attempts (84.2%) and 8-of-9 three-pointers (88.9%) in the frame. Charlotte then outscored the Heat, 37-11, in the second, matching the second-largest single-quarter point differential in team history (26; outscored New York on the road by 28 points in the second on Jan. 10, 2015).
Holding a 10-point lead at the start of the fourth, Charlotte saw its advantage shrink down to five with 2:43 remaining. Graham responded with a big three-pointer and following Jae Crowder’s matching triple 45 seconds later, Graham banked in a short runner from the left side to put the Hornets back in front by seven as Miami never scored again in the contest. The 20-point deficit matched Charlotte’s largest comeback win of the season (Dec. 11 at Brooklyn)
Caleb Martin had another strong outing, finishing with 19 points (8-of-8 from the line), three assists and career-high totals in rebounding (7) and steals (4). PJ Washington (17 points), Miles Bridges (16) and Cody Zeller (14) also scored in double figures with Zeller grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds (sixth offensive) for his ninth double-double of the season. Cody Martin filled in for Rozier in the starting lineup, chipping in six points, eight rebounds and two assists.
Miami got 20-point outings from Kendrick Nunn (24; 6-of-10 from three), Derrick Jones Jr. (23) and Bam Adebayo (21) in the loss. Adebayo nearly matched his career high with a game-high 10 assists as well and Crowder almost double-doubled off the bench with eight points, a team-high 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals. All-Star Jimmy Butler (left toe) was not available for the Heat.
Charlotte connected on 17-of-34 three-point attempts (50.0%), while Miami went 15-of-44 from distance (34.1%; just 7-of-35 after the first quarter). The Hornets also won the rebounding battle, 50-36, and outscored the Heat, 18-8, in second-chance points. Both teams finished with 14 total turnovers, although the Hornets scored 24 points off Miami’s giveaways and conceded just 13 such points.