Charlotte led the game early with Al Jefferson controlling the paint, having 11 in the opening period. In the second quarter, Miami would turn the tables and outscore the Hornets, 31-15, which included a furious 26-6 run. Justise Winslow made his NBA debut (5pts, 7reb), showcasing a monster dunk over a couple of Hornets defenders that had the arena off their feet. The Heat led 54-44 at halftime.
In the second half, Miami would hold on to their lead, providing more consistency and alertness. Gerald Green picked up right where he left off in the preseason, going for 19 points on 5/8 shooting from the 3, dispatching any concerns that the Heat had no solid 3 point shooter. Wade looked comfortable, finding his way to the rim and making timely passes; the Heat Lifer finished with 20 points and 5 assists.
The player of the game for the Heat however was Chris Bosh. In his first regular season game since February, due to blood clots, Bosh thanked the crowd for their prayers and well-wishes. He went on to lead the Heat, having 21 points and 10 rebounds, looking like he didn't miss a beat.
Despite a late scare that saw the Hornets get within 5 with just a under a minute to play, a Deng 3 and free throws from Wade and Bosh sealed it, winning the game 104-94 in their home opener. The starting lineup still didn't portray it's potential with Hassan Whiteside (4pts, 6reb, 2/4 fg) and Goran Dragic (8 pts, 6 ast) struggling to get into the flow of the game. Fortunately, it's only the first game of the season for the Heat and they'll have plenty of time to figure things out. Winning the first game is a positive place to start.
The Heat will next take on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in their home opener on Friday at 7 PM on ESPN.