Hornets Start Road Trip with Tough Loss in Miami

Heat Beat Charlotte on Clutch 3 with 4.6 Seconds Remaining

By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com

Result

One night after pulling out a big win over Atlanta at Spectrum Center, the Hornets opened up their three-game road trip on Saturday with a heartbreaker in Miami, falling to the Heat, 95-91. Kemba Walker scored a game-high 30 points and Dwight Howard recorded his 30th double-double of the season with 20 points and 16 rebounds but it wasn’t enough for a weary Hornets team that could not pull off another victory in the back-to-back set.

Turning Point

Trailing 92-90 with 45 seconds remaining, the Hornets still had a chance when Kemba Walker was able to track down Wayne Ellington’s missed three. Marvin Williams had a chance to give Charlotte the lead but missed a three-point attempt with 34 ticks on the clock. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was there to pull down the offensive rebound though and was able to get the ball to a cutting Walker, who was fouled by Justise Winslow with 30.4 seconds left. Walker hit the first free throw but missed the second, cutting the lead to 92-91. Charlotte put the pressure on defensively on the Heat’s ensuing possession, but Ellington found a way to drain a trey from the top of the arc with both Kidd-Gilchrist and Williams in his face and the shot clock on his back with only 4.6 seconds remaining to ice the game.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Kemba Walker gear here)

Kemba Walker scored a game-high 30 points and added six rebounds and a team-high five assists while also swiping one steal and blocking one shot. Walker has scored 20+ points in 28 of 46 games this season. Including going 4-of-9 from three-point range against Miami. Walker has scored multiple three-point baskets in 31 of his 46 appearances this season and is second on the franchise’s all-time three-point field goal leaderboard behind Dell Curry (KW: 911, DC: 929).

Hawks Player of the Game

Wayne Ellington came off the bench to score 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field while connecting on four treys, including the game-winning three-pointer with 4.6 seconds on the clock. Ellington also added two rebounds and an assist in 35 minutes.

Game Notes

Dwight Howard tallied his 30th double-double of the season with 20 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. Howard also blocked a game-high four shots while dishing out an assist and notching one steal… With the four blocks, Howard became the 19th player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career blocks… This is Howard’s eighth-straight game with 15+ rebounds, setting a new career-high and giving him the longest such streak in the NBA this season… With six offensive rebounds, Howard also passed Karl Malone for 12th place on the NBA’s all-time offensive rebounding leaderboard (3,563)… Charlotte was outshot 44.7 percent (38-of-85) to 34.5 percent (29-of-84) from the field and 30.8 percent (8-of-26) to 20.8 percent (5-of-24) from long range… The Hornets outshot Miami from the free-throw line 80.0 percent (28-of-35) to 61.1 percent (11-of-18)… The Heat dished out 25 assists on 38 made baskets while Charlotte had 12 assists on 29 makes… The Hornets dropped the season series to Miami, 0-4.

Quote of the Night

“Everything is always related to injury and schedule. After playing last night, especially with Kemba and Dwight, we struggled when we went to the bench and I made the decision at halftime to play those guys, I think late in the game we had a good chance, but those guys played so many minutes tonight I think it caught up to us a little bit.” – Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford

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