In a game that felt a lot like a playoff contest, the Charlotte Hornets took down the Miami Heat 109-106. In what looks to be a possible matchup come April, these two teams proved that they will put on quite a show if they do in fact meet in the playoffs.
Luol Deng led Miami with 22 points and Richardson had 18, while Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson each had 21 for the Hornets. Both teams played very well, but every time Miami looked like they were going to pull away, the Hornets would come back, and it eventually hurt the Heat. Let’s take a look at the keys to the game.
- Run them off the line: The Hornets went 13-26 from downtown, which is not exactly the best stat to see as the opposing team. Charlotte had only 26 points in the paint, so that should tell you that Miami needed to play the drive on defense.
- Get back on defense: Miami only had 6 offensive rebounds, so they did a pretty good job of getting back on defense. They needed to play a little bit better defense in the half-court in order to be successful.
- Stop Kemba Walker: Walker did not have a huge scoring impact on the game, but he did rack up 6 rebounds and 7 assists. It was the other members of the Hornets that really hurt Miami.
I am looking forward to this series if they do meet in the playoffs. It will be competitive and close in every game. Miami played very well, but in any game, there are about two to three 50/50 plays that decide a close game. Those plays went in Charlotte’s favor. The Heat next play host to Cleveland on Saturday in a much-anticipated matchup.