Sporting their throwback jerseys Friday night, the Miami Heat got a throwback performance by Hassan Whiteside in route to a 98-95 win over the Charlotte Hornets. Throwback might even be a stretch considering this is his 3rd triple double this season with blocks.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh led the Heat with 22 and 20 points, respectively. While Goran Dragic had his most complete game in a Heat uniform with 12 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
With 1:10 remaining in the game, the Hornets were up 93-90. After a Wade layup and Bosh three point play, the Heat were up 95-93 with about 23 seconds left. The Heat then relied on their stout defense at the end of the game for a pair of steals.
Justise Winslow managed to get a steal and that led to a Luol Deng free throw that put the Heat up by 3. The Hornets had a chance to tie the game once again but a Wade steal led to a Deng dunk that sealed the game.
Marvin Williams led the Hornets with 27 points while Nicolas Batum added 21. Kemba Walker made his return to the Hornets lineup and scored 20 points. Winslow continued his solid play for the Heat with 8 points and 10 rebounds.
Looking for reasons on how the Heat won aren’t hard to find. The Heat outscored the Hornets 64-32 in the paint while also outscoring them 18-6 on second chance points in part to eight offensive rebounds. The Heat enjoyed solid contributions from their bench with 29 points to the Hornets 12. The Heat made 0 three pointers for the first time since 2012 but dominating the Hornets in those three categories made up for that.
After two of their longest road trips of the season, the Heat finally head back home to close the schedule before the All Star break. The Heat take on the Los Angeles Clippers Sunday at American Airlines Arena. The Hornets host the Washington Wizards Saturday night.