NBA Basketball

129
Final-OT 1 2 3 4 OT Tot
Charlotte 28 26 34 25 16 129
Miami 29 28 25 31 8 121
121
4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)01:3019:30 ET6:30 PM CT22:30 , February 1, 2021
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Florida

Heat, Hornets look to maintain momentum

According to STATS
According to STATS

Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat

  1. The Heat have won nine of their last 12 meetings with Charlotte, but the Hornets took the last one, 109-98, in Miami in March. Charlotte averaged 115.7 on 44.2 percent three-point shooting in the three wins compared to 94.8 points on 28.9 percent three-point shooting in the nine losses.
  2. The Hornets made a season-high 21 three-pointers in their 126-114 win over the Bucks on Saturday. Seven Hornets made at least two threes in the win, the second time in franchise history Charlotte had seven players make multiple threes in a game (April 9, 2019 at Cleveland).
  3. LaMelo Ball came off the bench to score a career-high 27 points while adding nine assists and four steals in Charlotte's win on Saturday. Ball is just the second player to reach all three of those numbers off the bench in a game in the last 30 years (Lou Williams 40 pts, 10 ast, 4 stl for LAC on January 26, 2018).
  4. Miami ended a five-game losing streak with a 105-104 win over the Kings on Saturday. The Heat have recorded just one two-game winning streak this season, as their 1-5 record following wins is better than only Detroit (0-5).
  5. Jimmy Butler returned from a 10-game absence with a 30-point, seven-rebound, eight-assist game against Sacramento. Butler's 30 points came on just eight made field goals, the fewest in a 30-point game for Miami since Chris Bosh had 31 points on eight made shots on January 4, 2016.
  6. The Hornets have scored 19.8 points off turnovers per game this season, third-most in the NBA, while Miami has allowed an NBA-high 22.0 points off turnovers per game, on pace for the most in the NBA in the last 20 years.

Something old, something new -- that's what will be in play on Monday night when the Charlotte Hornets visit the Miami Heat.

Something old is Jimmy Butler, the 31-year-old Heat star who returned to action on Saturday night against the Sacramento Kings after missing 10 straight games due to COVID-19 protocol. Butler delivered a season-high 30 points to go with a game-high eight assists and seven rebounds in 34 minutes. He also had zero turnovers and made the go-ahead layup with 42 seconds left in a 105-104 win.

"You simply cannot put a modern-day analytic to Jimmy's will to win," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He was not going to let us lose."

Something new is LaMelo Ball, the Hornets rookie who could be making his first NBA start on Monday. On Friday night, in a 126-114 win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Ball provided a team-high-tying 27 points and a game-high-tying nine assists to go with five rebounds, four steals and just one turnover.

Hornets coach James Borrego said Ball has infectious energy.

"What makes him special is that he loves the game," Borrego said. "He has great joy for his teammates. He makes me want to coach with more joy."

Ball was 8-for-10 shooting against the Bucks, including going 2-for-3 on 3-pointers. He was also 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.

For the season, Ball -- the third pick in the 2020 NBA Draft -- is second on the Hornets in assists (6.1), fourth in rebounds (5.9) and fifth in scoring (12.2). His three-point shooting (29.9 percent) needs work, but he is clearly enjoying himself.

"He makes everyone around him better," teammate Miles Bridges said.

Ball's possible ascension to the starting lineup has to do with his productivity and also due to Terry Rozier's sprained right ankle. Rozier was injured in the first half against the Bucks, and he did not return, playing just 18 minutes as the Hornets won their second straight game.

Rozier is second on the team in scoring (18.6) and in three-point percentage (43.5). But his assists average (2.8) pales in comparison to Ball, indicative of their different playing styles.

The other big story in Charlotte is rejuvenated forward Gordon Hayward, 30, who is on pace for the best scoring season of his career (23.2).

For Miami, Butler leads the team in assists (5.7) and steals (1.9) while ranking second in scoring (17.9). He makes 91.1 percent of his free throws, which is vital because he gets to the foul line so often, including a 14-for-16 performance on Saturday.

Bam Adebayo has carried the Heat most of this season, leading the team in scoring (19.9) and rebounds (9.4) while ranking second in assists (5.5).

But Miami has been plagued by injuries/illness, even after getting Butler and Tyler Herro (neck) back within the past few days. Five players remain on the injured list: Avery Bradley (knee), Goran Dragic (groin), Maurice Harkless (thigh), Meyers Leonard (shoulder) and Chris Silva (hip).

Dragic, who is fourth on the team in scoring (15.9) and third in assists (5.3), is the biggest piece still missing from Miami's attack, but Bradley (9.8 scoring average) should have a key role upon his return. Both of them are considered day-to-day.

Meanwhile, Herro, who is third on the team in scoring (17.5), learned his housemate tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday night. It's possible Herro could have to quarantine and miss games, including Monday against the Hornets.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 31, 2021

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