NBA Basketball

Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Miami 28 34 24 31 117
Charlotte 26 32 33 31 122
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST22:00 UAE19:0013:00 ET12:00 PM CTNaN:� , January 29, 2023
Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina  Attendance: 19,254

Healthy Hornets host surging Heat

According to STATS
According to STATS

Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets

  1. The Heat have won seven straight games against the Hornets, including two victories in November of this season. Over those two contests, Jimmy Butler averaged 27.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.0 assists on 63.0 percent shooting.
  2. In Thursday's win over Chicago, Mason Plumlee recorded his third game with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds this season, doing so without missing a shot (9-for-9). Plumlee had just four 20-10 performances in his career prior to 2022-23.
  3. Charlotte held Chicago to just 96 points in Thursday's win, its fewest allowed in a game this season. The Hornets had surrendered at least 100 points in each of their previous 39 games, the longest such streak in franchise history.
  4. Entering the weekend, Charlotte's bench is shooting just 29.8 percent from three-point range, which is the worst in the NBA. Miami's reserves rank as the third-worst unit in this category at 31.6 percent.

If the Charlotte Hornets could just stay whole for an extended period, they might be onto something.

The lineup could be close to that when the Miami Heat visit for Sunday afternoon's game in Charlotte, N.C.

The Hornets had LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward back in action Thursday night in a 111-96 victory against the visiting Chicago Bulls. Both players missed the previous games -- Ball sitting out three and Hayward the past two.

"What it does is it takes so much pressure off the perimeter guys," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. "Gordon was really good at both ends of the floor. (Ball is) a difference maker. He puts so much pressure on the defense every time he touches the ball."

The Heat have won three games in a row after Friday night's 110-105 victory against the Orlando Magic that came with a second-half rally. Miami is 9-4 in January after entering 2023 just one game above .500.

"Being six games over .500 is a very, very good thing," Heat forward Jimmy Butler said.

The Heat beat Charlotte in back-to-back home games in mid-November, the first of those coming in overtime when Butler supplied 35 points. Max Strus had 31 -- one shy of his career-high mark -- in the next game in what remains his season high.

More recently, the Heat have had several adventures in building a three-game winning streak. They've won those contests by a combined 12 points.

"I don't know if we just want to make it interesting," Miami center Bam Adebayo said. "Every game is more like a lesson for us."

Butler was back for Friday night's game after sitting out Tuesday night with an ailing back. So his recovery with a game set for early in the afternoon Sunday could be a topic.

For Ball, he has been through three stretches of multi-game absences because of injuries.

"Even for him, as good as he is, rarely is a guy going to come back and be in rhythm," Clifford said.

Ball's presence in the backcourt against the Bulls freed up Terry Rozier, who notched a team-high 28 points and was credited by Clifford as displaying game-changing defense.

Rozier said when the Hornets have the top unit together, they can look special.

"It feels good to finally have the starting five that was set at the beginning of the season," Rozier said. "We don't dwell on the past, we move forward and focus on how we can get better from here."

Ball shot 2-for-15 from the field but was credited with making a significant impact.

"Just being the guy that the other team's main focus point is on," Rozier said. "He's always a big help out there."

Hornets center Mason Plumlee has scored 15 or more points in six straight games for the first time in his career.

Charlotte hasn't won two consecutive home games since defeating Minnesota and Washington on Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, respectively, with a loss at Boston in between. Since the Dec. 2 win, the Hornets are 2-10 in home games.

In the November games in Miami, Kelly Oubre Jr. had 29 and 20 points for the Hornets. He's out for the season with an injury.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 28, 2023

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