Game Notes: Heat at Hornets
Miami Thrice comes to The Hive and gets stung.
Either the Hornets are really good, or the Heat are not taking them seriously. The Hornets are on pace to score more points on the Heat than almost any other team this season, and the Heat have looked discombobulated all night. If Miami doesn’t tighten up on defense, and get some cohesion on offense, loss number two is on the way
Hornets have led this game since the opening tip, and Okafor is the leading scorer for both teams with 14, while Paul already has 10 assists.
LeBron with the chase down block on Paul at 10:11 in the quarter. Hornets are still up 11.
For a team with so many weapons, the Heat often look like they have no idea how to attack on offense. And their defense this game is putrid. Paul is having his way with everybody and the rest of the team is feeding off it.
The Hornets’ scorekeeper is generous with assists for Paul. CP3 makes an entry pass to West, and then West power dribbles before spinning and hitting a hook shot. It still counts as an assist for Paul. Now I see why Oscar Robertson is pissed.
Bosh may only shoot jumpers, but he’s pretty good at it.
Jason Smith also continues to hit jumpers.
Hornets are up 66-57. Scratch that, Hornets are up 68-57. Either the Heat turn it up now, or the Hornets are going to take this one.
Hornets with two quick fast breaks and the lead balloons to 13, 72-59.
The crowd is pumped until Bosh wets yet another mid-range jumper. Maybe that is why the Heat got him although they would prefer more than 1 rebound in three quarters.
Quarter ends with the Hornets up 72-64. That’s more points than Orlando scored in the entire game.
Big Z probably could hit wide open jumpers all night. The Hornets seem determined to make him prove it.
Okafor has 20 and 9 with nine minutes left in the game. He is killing in the lane, and playing stout defense at the rim.
The Heat have been slow to the ball all game. Haslem has very few rebounds, and nobody is really giving them energy. Outside of the Big Three, nobody on the Heat is in double figures scoring. In contrast, the Hornets have five players in double figures, including four of the five starters.
Lil Wayne and Birdman in the building. I guess their relocation to Miami also includes only showing up in town when Miami teams visit.
The Hornets’ offense may be ugly without Paul, but somehow they are finding ways to buckets and the lead is still 8 with 7:40 to play.
Monty Williams bring Paul back with 6:25 to play and the Hornets up 80-72. Let’s see if the Heat can be +9 over the final six minutes or if the Hornets remain unbeaten.
Miami cut the lead to three on a Wade drive and Haslem jumper. Looking like 2006 in here.
Okafor makes another bucket. This is easily his best game as a Hornet. He’s got 24 points and 10 boards.
Hornets up 86 to 79 on two free throws by David West.
Bosh picks a good time to get his second rebound, cleaning up a LeBron miss on a drive and getting fouled.
Belinelli fouls Wade on a three pointer. Crowd doesn’t like the call, but it’s the correct one. Wade has 27, 8 boards and two assists. LeBron has 16, 9 assists and 6 boards
The Hornets lead by one point, 86-85.
Okafor with a huge shot in the lane off a Paul feed.
OH MY GOD. A Chris Paul shake-and-bake makes James Jones hit the deck and then Paul hits a driving layup. Unfortunately the ref decides it was an offensive foul on the layup. If you make someone fall down the ref should be prohibited from calling a charge. Get on that Stern.
Hornets are up 88-86, but it is Miami ball.
West splits two free throws and the Hornets lead 89-86.
LeBron hits two freebies and the lead is one again.
LeBron goes back to the line with a chance to give the Heat their first lead and hits both.
The Heat are up 90-89 and Hornets fans are worried, but still upbeat.
Belinelli fouled by James Jones on the drive, sinks the first, and then cashes the second.
Scramble for the ball after a bad pass by Wade in the lane. The ref says it belongs to the Hornets.
We’re under 30 seconds and Chris Paul and West run their patented pick and pop. Paul probes in the lane and finds Ariza open in the corner. Ariza earns his paycheck, and the Hornets are up three..
Bosh wide open for a straightaway three pointer off a LeBron drive, and he cashes it. The Heat would prefer more rebounds, but they can’t complain about Bosh’s jumper. Cash money, no Birdman.
Seven seconds left in the game.
West fouled on the inbounds. He hits both and the Hornets are up 96 to 93.
So, who gets the last shot? Last time down the Heat ran a quick hitter to get LeBron going towards the rim, but this time they almost have to shoot a three. Wade has been the scorer this game, but LeBron is probably better from long distance.
Eddie House gets the last shot after Wade curls near the key and gets doubled. It looks good coming out of House’s hands, but rims out.
Hornets remain unbeaten and the Heat get to go home and unleash their frustrations Saturday night on the New Jersey Nets.
Chris Paul said that Emeka Okafor was a difference maker in the game thanks to his aggression. Okafor with finished with 28 points after missing only one shot on the night. LeBron James would later note that 50 of the Hornets’ 96 points came in the paint, something the Heat can’t ever let happen.
Wade and LeBron pointed to the Heat’s dismal first quarter, where they only scored 17 points while giving up 29 points as the difference maker in the game. They both admitted Miami came out flat and paid for it.
“They jumped us pretty early,” Wade said. “Even though we feel like we have a team that can withstand a run that’s not the way we want to play.”
LeBron said it was a good lesson for the Heat.
“We can’t just show up,” he said. “It’s not about Xs and Os, it’s about effort.”