NBA: Miami Heat latest to get stung by Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets extended its best stretch of the season by defeating the visiting Miami Heat 108-103 on Saturday night.

Gordon Hayward scored 21 points and rookie centre Mark Williams had key baskets among his 18 points and also collected 20 rebounds as the Charlotte Hornets extended its best stretch of the season by defeating the visiting Miami Heat 108-103 on Saturday night.

LaMelo Ball had 19 points and 13 assists, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Dennis Smith Jr. both supplied 15 points and Terry Rozier finished with 14 points as the Hornets have won four consecutive games after never winning more than two straight games this season before the All-Star break.

Tyler Herro’s 33 points and Jimmy Butler’s 28 points couldn’t prevent Miami’s season-worst four-game losing streak. Bam Adebayo had 14 points, and Kevin Love posted 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat, which shot 40 per cent from the field.

Herro was 6-for-12 on 3-pointers, but the rest of the Heat combined to go 5-for-24 from long range.

The Hornets carried an 82-72 lead into the fourth quarter. Miami closed within 93-91 before baskets from Hayward and Williams helped stretch the margin.

Herro hit another three as the Heat made a charge. Adebayo’s dunk cut the gap to 104-103, but he committed a turnover on Miami’s next possession when it had a chance to go ahead.

Williams scored the next two baskets.

Charlotte held a 54-51 halftime lead, but the Heat had the momentum by that point.

The Hornets used a 14-0 run that extended into the second quarter for a 31-16 lead. The gap reached 40-20 on Oubre’s four-point play. It was 48-26 before Miami made a move that was ignited by a technical foul on Smith and a pair of Herro 3-point baskets and ended up as a 13-0 spurt until Williams’ dunk for the Hornets.

Miami shot 34.9 per cent, and Charlotte was at 36.2 per cent through the first half. The teams combined to make 32 of 35 free throws.

By halftime, Charlotte’s reserves outscored Miami’s backups by 24-4.

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