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
by Sam Perley

Postgame Coverage: Game Gallery | Graham Highlights | Coach Borrego | Terry Rozier

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.

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