12/15 21:55 CST Ellington and Johnson score 16 each in Heat win vs. Hornets
Ellington and Johnson score 16 each in Heat win vs. Hornets
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) --- Playing without two injured post players on Friday
night against the Charlotte Hornets, the Miami Heat turned to perimeter
shooting from its bench for scoring punch.
Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington delivered to lift Miami to a .500 record with
a 104-98 victory.
Johnson and Ellington scored 16 points each in Miami's 24th win in its past 30
games against Charlotte (10-18), which opened a stretch of six of seven home
games with a loss. Johnson and Ellington combined for 10-of-16 shooting on
With center Hassan Whiteside and forward Justise Winslow back home with knee
injuries, Johnson and Ellington routinely hit 3-pointers at points in the game
the Hornets appeared poised to make a comeback.
"It's very, very helpful to have that," said the Heat's Kelly Olynyk, who,
along with Josh Richardson, James Johnson and Bam Adebayo, scored 11 points.
"That second unit is tough to guard. They're making guys pay."
Dion Waiters scored 12 for the Heat.
"They showed their depth tonight," Hornets associate head coach Stephen Silas
said. "They had seven guys in double figures and no one over 16 points. When
you play like that, it's a winning combination."
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 23 points after aggravating a wrist injury and
leaving the game in the first half. He returned to start the second half with
his left wrist wrapped, and his 3-pointer with 3:16 left pulled Charlotte
within 100-93 after trailing by 17.
"As soon as Kemba Walker hit that one 3-pointer, I turned to the bench and
said, 'Uh-oh,'" said coach Erik Spoelstra, who tied Pat Riley's career win
record for Miami. "I like our guys having to go through all that stress and
anxiety and have to execute under duress and under the pressure in context of a
Walker drew a foul against Johnson, his fifth, with 2:02 left. His free throws
closed the gap to 100-96, and Dwight Howard's driving layup brought the Hornets
within 100-98. Waiters hit a fadeaway for Miami's first basket in more than 2
minutes and a 102-98 lead.
Miami pulled away with free throws from Goran Dragic for the final margin.
"We have to find a way to be consistent and win these games," said Hornets
guard Nicolas Batum, who struggled to a 2-for-7 shooting performance but
finished with a season-high tying 10 assists. "It's right there. We have to
find a way to create for other guys."
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist shot 6 of 8 for 13 points for Charlotte, which has lost
five of its past six. Howard recorded his fourth double-double in five games
for Charlotte with 15 points and 16 rebounds. It was his 16th double-double
Heat: Whiteside (knee), who has missed eight consecutive games, returned to
practice on Thursday.
Hornets: The Hornets last won the series against Miami in 2009-2010. Miami
leads the season series 2-0.
MICKEY'S DEVELOPMENT: F Jordan Mickey nearly gave Miami four double-digit
scorers off the bench. Mickey, who has spent time working on skill development
with Juwan Howard, shot 4 of 6 with seven rebounds in more than 15 minutes on
"He's in the best shape that he's been in this past week," Spoelstra said. "All
of his testing has been phenomenal and that is what you want of your young
players. You never know when you're going to get an opportunity."
TROUBLE WITH THE 3: Miami (11 for 31, 35.5 percent) shot slightly lower than
Charlotte (10 for 27, 37 percent) from 3-point range, but the timing made the
difference. Heat shooters found open shots on defensive lapses off penetration
"We were biting on shot fakes, they were driving by us," Silas said. "They had
isolations, they were driving by us. It wasn't necessarily the rim protection,
it was the drive and kicks. That's the problem that I see and it's a recurring
issue that we've had."
Heat: Host Clippers on Saturday night.
Hornets: Host Trail Blazers on Saturday night.
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