Hornets Overcome And Weather Miami Runs In Homestand-Sweeping Win

Terry Rozier Highlights vs Heat - 01/29/23

Charlotte Starters Total 107 PTS to Help Top Heat for the First Time in Almost Two Years

The last time Charlotte and Miami met down in South Beach back in mid-November, the Heat capitalized on a big third quarter to net its seventh straight win in the head-to-head series. Two months later, the Hornets returned the favor in similar fashion to beat the Heat, 122-117 on Sunday afternoon to sweep their mini-two-game homestand.

Terry Rozier led the way with a game-high 31 points – 10 in the third quarter – on 11-of-19 shooting, five 3-pointers, six rebounds and a game-high-tying seven assists in the victory. This showing gave Rozier 28 career 30-point games with the Hornets, moving him pass Gerald Wallace for third place on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard.

Following an evenly-played first half, the Heat opened the third quarter on a 10-1 run, but Charlotte countered with a 32-14 frame-closing span to take a 91-86 lead into the fourth. The Hornets pushed the lead up to 12 with about six minutes remained, then Miami made its response with a 10-0 stretch to get back to within two by the 3:51 mark.

Shortly after sinking a free throw to push the advantage back to three, Mason Plumlee wrangled a jump-ball at center court, then maneuvered through the Miami defense for a smooth driving layup. LaMelo Ball drained a 3-pointer on the next possession and after Miami got to within five with a minute left, PJ Washington ripped away a would-be defensive rebound from college teammate Tyler Herro, leading to a second-chance layup that basically sealed it.

“Good resiliency,” said Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford. “In the fourth quarter, we made a run where I thought it was more good defense, which led to fast breaks and we scored in transition. Good, solid defense that led to some good chances in transition and we finished.” Added Gordon Hayward, “Certainly happy with our response. They’re a tough team to play against because they’re a little bit older and they’re all smart. They know how to win basketball games, so for us to fight back was impressive to see. Big-time win for us.”

Washington finished with 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting, six rebounds and five assists, with his 15 third-quarter points marking the second-highest quarterly total of his career. Hayward tallied 20 points on 100% shooting from the field, 3-point and free-throw line to become the first Charlotte player to ever achieve this statline. Ball chipped in 19 points – 13 in the fourth – seven rebounds and seven assists, while Plumlee added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Charlotte coughed up 19 turnovers leading to 25 Miami points, although won the rebounding battle, 47-36, and outscored the Heat by 15 on the fast break (25-10). The hosts canned 15-of-40 3-point attempts (37.5%), which included a fiery 9-of-18 clip in the second half (50.0%).

Said Clifford, “They’re a good team, obviously. They’re hard to play against. You have to have a lot of guys play well and we had a lot of guys play well – guys off the bench, starters. We hung in there when we were down and when they made their runs, we made some plays.”

Jimmy Butler (28) and Herro (24) both notched 20-point performances for Miami, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. Bam Adebayo (17) and Kyle Lowry (11) also scored in double figures in the Heat’s first loss to the Hornets since a 110-105 defeat at Spectrum Center on March 26, 2021.

The Hornets will now hit the road again for a three-game voyage starting with the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, Jan. 31 beginning at 8 PM ET. Follow all the action on Bally Sports Southeast and WFNZ FM 92.7.