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Furious late rally lifts Heat over Hornets, 104-103

The Heat went on a 13-0 run to close the game.

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

The Miami Heat went into the fourth quarter against the Charlotte Hornets down one point. By the midway point, Charlotte had built a 95-84 lead. Erik Spoelstra subbed out Dewayne Dedmon, Tyler Herro and Markieff Morris, inserting Omer Yurtseven, Marcus Garrett and DJ Stewart — essentially pulling all his rotation players.

The Heat went on a 13-0 run to end the game 104-103 and improve to 4-0 in the preseason.

Stewart’s 3-pointer with 2:28 left made it a 103-97 Charlotte lead, forcing a Hornets timeout. Garrett stole the ball on the Hornets’ ensuing possession, and Micah Potter knocked down a midrange shot to make it a four-point game.

With a minute left, Omer Yurtseven made a jumper to cut the deficit to two. And with less than 30 seconds left, both Yurtseven and Javonte Smart grabbed offensive boards. Smart drove to the basket for an and-one. Suddenly, Miami had a one-point lead with 7.8 seconds left.

Potter blocked a driving layup in the closing seconds, leaving only 0.4 seconds left after the ball went out of bounds. And no Derek Fisher magic came on Charlotte’s last possession, keeping Miami undefeated.

Monday night represented a feel-good story — players who will spend the year on the back of the bench and in Sioux Falls going on a furious rally to steal a preseason game. Erik Spoelstra used his regular rotation for all but the last six minutes, and Miami had some issues.

For much of the second quarter, Miami looked like the team that floundered when Jimmy Butler didn’t play during the 2020-21 season. (Butler missed tonight’s game with cold-like symptoms.) If the 3-pointers didn’t fall, the Heat couldn’t muster much offense. Miami put up just 20 points in the second period.

Tyler Herro, who came into tonight’s game leading the league in preseason scoring, struggled to get anything going against the Hornets. He missed all seven of his 3-point attempts and shot 3-of-15 overall. In one fourth-quarter possession, Herro even had 6-foot Ish Smith on him and didn’t knock down the mid-range jumper.

Thanks to Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson each hitting a pair of 3-pointers, the offense improved in the third quarter. Bam Adebayo also made a nice pocket pass to Lowry for an and-one.

Speaking of Adebayo, the Heat’s 2017 first-round pick showed some nice footwork in the first half. At times, he dominated against the Hornets’ smaller interior defenders.

Adebayo finished with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. When the Heat’s offense ground to a halt a few times in the second quarter, I would’ve liked to see Adebayo take control of the offense. Hopefully when the games start to count, he’ll do that. Overall, Monday was a nice game for the 6-foot-9 center from North Carolina.

The Heat will next visit the Atlanta Hawks Thursday night.