Hornets defeat the visiting Heat in Sunday’s matinee

January 30, 2023

The Charlotte Hornets defeated the visiting Miami Heat on Sunday by a score of 122-117 to win back-to-back matches for just the third time this season.

LaMelo Ball got off to another poor start, connecting on just one of his opening five field goals. At approximately 1:38 into the second quarter, he exited the field and entered the locker room while holding a towel in his hand, although he did begin the second half.

Ball’s offensive difficulties were filled by Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier, who combined for 30 points (15 each) on 11 of 15 field goal attempts. Rozier made an impressive finish to the opening frame by pulling up from the logo and placing a shot just before the buzzer.

The Hornets, who had been down for most of the game, finally found their range in the third quarter, making 6/10 three-pointers. In the final 4 minutes of the third, Charlotte went on a 19-5 run to grab the lead, 91-86, and PJ Washington, who had 15 points in the period, assisted by hitting three straight deep shots. Rozier once more raised the crowd to their feet by scoring a buzzer-beating basket, this time directly in front of the Miami bench.

Midway through the fourth, a Rozier basket gave Charlotte a 12-point lead. However, a 6-0 Miami run dropped the lead to four, forcing Steve Clifford to use a timeout to stop the rapid fire.

Miami reduced the difference to two points, but it was as close as they would come. Rozier won a jump ball, which Plumlee collected and slammed hard to the basket for a lay-in. Then, on the next play, LaMelo sank a three to increase the margin to eight.

The Hornets will now play three games on the road, starting on Tuesday at 8 p.m. against the Milwaukee Bucks. EST.