After trailing by as many as 30, a monstrous comeback attempt from the Miami Heat fell short, dropping their season-high sixth consecutive game to the Charlotte Hornets 110-105 Friday night in Charlotte, N.C. Miami has lost its only two meetings to the Hornets this season.
Eight straight points from Bam Adebayo trimmed the Hornet advantage to 105-100 with 1:09 remaining. Rozier’s long two upped their advantage to 107-100 with 43.1 seconds to go.
Duncan Robinson’s triple off a dribble-handoff from Adebayo —bringing it to 107-103 with 28.7 seconds to go. Tyler Herro’s layup after Charlotte’s Gordan Hayward split a pair of free throws cut it to 108-105 with 6.6 seconds remaining.
Miami’s monstrous comeback attempt fell short after a pair of free throws from Charlotte’s Devonte’ Graham iced the nail-biting victory.
The Hornets shot a 49.4 percent from the floor, 41.9 percent from 3-point range and 73.7 percent from the free-throw line. Miami netted just 46 percent of their shots, including 34.9 percent from 3-point range but a lowly 50 percent (10-for-20) from the charity stripe.
Jimmy Butler returned from his one-game absence Friday. He tallied 20 points, five rebounds and nine assists — shooting 7-of-16 on the evening. Butler took a season-high eight 3-pointers, hitting two of them. It was the second game this year where he’s attempted five or more 3s in a single game — the other coming on March 17 versus the Memphis Grizzlies (where he went 2-for-6 from outside). Butler has registered 18 games of 20-plus points this season.
Robinson added 20 points with six triples. Adebayo finished with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, tallying eight rebounds and two steals.
A night removed from recording a season-high nine points, Trevor Ariza tallied his first double-digit scoring performance in his fifth game of the year — totaling 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting and a team-high nine rebounds. Tyler Herro finished with 13 points — eight in the final quarter — on 6-of-16 shooting.
Kendrick Nunn, who finished with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting in 16 minutes, exited the game with 3:13 left in the first half after rolling his right ankle. He did not return.
After lighting Miami up for career-best 36 points in their Feb. 1 meeting, Malik Monk picked up right where he left off. He tallied 32 points on 12-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-9 beyond the arc. Terry Rozier followed with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting and 4-of-10 from deep, dishing out a season-high 11 assists — blowing past his previous high of six.
Graham added 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-10 from deep. Miles Bridges had 10 points on 3-of-7 shooting, while Gordan Hayward finished with 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Friday’s loss drops Miami to 22-24 and are two games back of the fourth-seeded Hornets, who improve to 23-21. Charlotte is 8.5 games back of the top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference.
After a quick 7-0 Hornet start, Butler’s 3-pointer put Miami on the board with 9:35 to go in the first half. Miami missed eight of their first 11 shot attempts.
Nunn’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 16-10. P.J. Washington’s make from deep gave the Hornets the 27-15 lead with 3:42 left in the first half, prompting a Heat timeout. Charlotte shot a red hot 62.5 percent from the floor, including 8-of-15 from deep in its 40-point first quarter. Monk and Graham had a combined 20 on 8-of-9 shooting in the quarter.
Monk’s 3-pointer — his fourth on the evening — put the Hornets ahead 51-26 with 9:57 left. Their lead built to as large as 30. Adebayo’s layup trimmed the lead to 68-47 with 1:23 left in the half.
Charlotte led 72-49 entering halftime. It shot 53.3 percent in the half and 52 percent from beyond the arc; Miami shot just 40.4 percent and 36.4 percent from deep.
Hayward’s triple — the team’s 16th on the evening — widened it to 83-56 with 8:15 left in the third quarter. An 16-2 Heat run — capped-off by Herro’s 3-pointer — cut it to 88-74 with 3:12 left in the quarter.
Ariza’s two made free throws — courtesy of a rarely called shooting foul at the end of the third quarter buzzer — made it 92-79 entering the final quarter.
Back-to-back baskets from Herro cut it to 94-83. Bridges’ alley-oop slam, followed by Monk’s one-handed jam and Hayward’s jumper re-upped Charlotte’s lead to 100-83 with 6:25 to go.
Miami’s late rally was led by Adebayo, whose eight consecutive points cut it to 105-100 — but was not enough to earn it the victory.