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Five Stars: Four Aces

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Miami earned the top four stars in defeating the Hornets on Wednesday night.

NBA: Miami Heat at Charlotte Hornets Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

First Star

Goran Dragic (MIA) 30.2

The Dragon started at point guard for Miami and scored 33 points in 33:13. He shot 13-for-21 overall and a nifty five-for-nine from outside. He also made all three of his free throws. In fact, Miami only missed one free throw all night, going 11-for-12 overall. Dragic earned a plus-15 rating and a 29.5 approximate PER in his 48th Five Star game and his 15th with a First Star. He added four assists, two steals, and a rebound.

Second Star

James Johnson (MIA) 29.5

Johnson, who ranks third on the team with 72 appearances, started for the first time this season and came through in spades. He lit up Charlotte for a season-high tying 26 points on a super-efficient 10-for-12 performance, including six-of-seven from beyond the arc. He also had four rebounds, three assists, two steals, a 27.8 approximate PER, and a game-high-tying plus-23 rating in 32:15. It was his 27th time in the Five Stars.

I was just taking what they were giving. The team was finding me and the basket felt huge. - Johnson

Third Star

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 21.8

The Great Wall of Whiteside matched Johnson’s plus-23 rating in 31:23 on the court, and scored 13 points with 20 rebounds. It was his seventh game this season with 20 or more boards, and his team leading 50th Five Star appearance. Whiteside drained five-of-nine shots from the floor and all three of his foul shots, along with three blocks, a steal, and a 19.7 estimated PER rating.

Coach told me, 'Whiteside, we might need 20 rebounds from you.' So I said, 'OK, check. Somebody ordered 20 rebounds.' So I had to deliver. - Whiteside, who shook off a technical foul to lead Miami.

Fourth Star

Josh Richardson (MIA) 18.8

J-Rich earned a 15.0 PER, ranking him right at the NBA’s “average” watermark. In 36:07, he earned his seventh Five Stars game, with 19 points on six-of-14 shooting. He made four-of-seven from outside and all three of his free throws, with six rebounds, five assists, and a plus-19 rating.

Fifth Star

Marvin Williams (CHA) 12.7

Williams was the only thing keeping the Hornets from getting shut out of the Five Stars. He had a 15.5 estimated PER in 36:02 on the court, in which he scored 15 points with 12 rebounds, a block, and a minus-14 rating. He made six-of-10 overall from the floor and half of his six long-distance shot attempts without making a trip to the foul line.

Nightly Notable

After fielding what is arguably the best bench in the NBA all season, Miami’s reserves totaled just 18 points on five-for-19 shooting, with seven rebounds, eight assists, and two blocks in 76:50. Although a lot of that may have had to do with the bench having to cough up Bloodsport.

Wednesday’s Worst

Rodney McGruder was the lone Miami starter to not earn a star, scoring just three points on one-of-nine shooting in 33:12.

Five Stars Standings

Hassan Whiteside 333
Goran Dragic 291
Tyler Johnson 157
James Johnson 138
Dion Waiters 129
Wayne Ellington 56
Josh Richardson 36
Willie Reed 33
Rodney McGruder 22
Justise Winslow 16
Derrick Williams 3
Josh McRoberts 1
Luke Babbitt 1