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Hornets dismantle defensively challenged Heat 125-113

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Charlotte now leads the season series 2-0 in a lackluster Miami performance.

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

The Miami Heat were quickly outmatched by the Charlotte Hornets and never fully recovered in a 125-113 loss on the road.

With their division rival already leading the season series 2-0 including their prior victory at the AmericanAirlines Arena, this latest setback could have major repercussions in their playoff chase. Whether it was because they were caught flat-footed on the second night of a back-to-back after their dispiriting loss to the Sacramento Kings back home or simply because the Hornets were the better team once again, they dug themselves a big hole — perhaps not one as large as the one they dug in their first matchup but a large one nonetheless — and had to play from behind and were unable to match their firepower.

The defense again still isn’t displaying anything close to resembling Heat defense and their offense isn’t going to be enough to keep up against hot shooting teams. They were able to whittle the deficit down to single digits briefly in the second quarter and they had a nice run in the fourth quarter (while scoring an impressive 40 points in those final 12 minutes) to put themselves within striking distance but that’s when Kemba Walker knocked down two 3-pointers to ice the game.

Tony Parker was the man of the match with 24 points and 11 assists, playing like he did in his prime with the San Antonio Spurs, and he systematically picked apart the Heat and scored or assisted seemingly at will during his best moments. Nicolas Batum and later Malik Monk also had their way with the Heat.

Josh Richardson (15 points) didn’t play nearly as well as he did last night, and aside from Dwyane Wade with a team-leading 19 points there had to be more output from the bench tonight but the Hornets easily won that battle too, outscoring their counterpoints 66-46. Hassan Whiteside had 16 points and 12 rebounds but none of the starters had much of an impactful game, including Goran Dragic with a quiet nine points and just three assists.

After two solid wins against the New York Knicks and the Portland Trail Blazers, the Heat’s play has been puzzling in back-to-back losses. They’ll try to turn it around in a winnable game on the road against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, November 3rd at 7:30pm.