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Adebayo, Butler combine for 58 points to help Heat swat down Hornets 114-99

Heat hold back Hornets’ fourth quarter rally for another convincing win.

Charlotte Hornets v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Bam Adebayo got his Olympic gold medalist banner up on the rafters at FTX Arena and the Miami Heat grabbed another impressive victory in a 114-99 decision against a tough Charlotte Hornets squad.

Adebayo was a force to be reckoned with, most importantly in the fourth quarter when the Hornets threatened to make it a close game. He finished with a dominating 26 points and 19 rebounds, while Jimmy Butler led the team with 32 points and also had 10 rebounds for another huge night.

Tyler Herro continues to prove his preseason form wasn’t a fluke with another huge 26 points off the bench.

Charlotte entered the game as the top ranked offense in the NBA, but they ran into the league’s best defense and though the two teams played evenly to start the game, the Heat would go on a big run in the first quarter to race out to the early double-digit lead. Kyle Lowry and Duncan Robinson were able to each sink early baskets, but neither player was able to have a breakout game offensively tonight. Nevertheless, the lead kept swelling once Herro got in on the fun, highlighted once again by a first quarter buzzer beater — his second of the season — to propel the lead to 11.

He scored an efficient 18 points in his first 10 minutes of the game, with a 3-pointer halfway through a dominant second quarter performance making it 47-27. The lead would soon go up to 26 points eventually, with the Hornets unable to make a dent on offense. LaMelo Ball failed to make much of an impact all night long, finishing with six points on 2-14 shooting, and every time the Hornets scored there was an immediate answer from Herro or Butler.

They wouldn’t go down that easy however, with a much improved third quarter led by Gordon Hayward and Miles Bridges getting more aggressive on offense to close the gap to 84-75 entering the final quarter. Cody Martin also played well during this stretch, scoring 15 points off the bench for the night.

Eventually the lead was whittled down to just six points in the fourth quarter, but encouragingly this was when Adebayo put the team on his back and ensured the Heat would hold on to stay undefeated at home. A quick 7-0 run by the home team late in the game would put the game safely away.

Miami’s defense would hold the top-ranked offense Hornets to just 39% shooting and won the battle of the boards 60-37, with Butler and Adebayo leading by example and grabbing nine of the team’s 16 offensive rebounds. Perhaps even more impressively, the team would also finish a perfect 19-19 from the free throw line for the second time this season.

While the team improves to 4-0 with Lowry, he continued to struggle with his shot and is now averaging just 6.8 points and shooting 27% from the field so far. But his playmaking, creativity and tenacity is proving to be a perfect compliment to the trio of Adebayo, Butler and Herro.

It was a special night thanks to the halftime ceremony honoring Adebayo and his gold medal achievement with Team USA and for the hard-fought victory.

Miami next plays tomorrow night on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies at 8:00pm.