Dominant. Masterful. Overwhelming. Assertive. Authoritative. Mind numbing.
After trailing by five at the break, the Heat outscored Charlotte 58-35 in the second half— including a demonstrative 55-20 run (!!!) up until the 4:34 mark in the final frame — en-route to the 104-86 victory. Over those final 24 minutes, Miami shot 50.0 percent and 56.2 percent from 3-point range after clanking 14 of their 16 attempts from distance in the opening half.
In total, however, it shot 41.8 percent and 32.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Jimmy Butler had a team-high 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line, racking up six rebounds, four assists and one block.
Bam Adebayo recorded his 15th double-double of the season, totaling 20 points, 12 boards, three steals and a pair of blocks in just 28 minutes. Tyler Herro added 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-8 from distance, with four boards and two steals.
Charlotte netted 38.4 percent of its attempts — shooting 35.7 percent in the second half — in the 18-point loss, making just 10-of-36 (27.8 percent) from 3-point range and 10-of-16 (62.5 percent) from the free-throw line.
Terry Rozier recorded a team-high 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, adding six rebounds. Miles Bridges posted 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting, plus five boards, five assists and swatting a team-most four shots.
LaMelo Ball had 12 points, shooting 5-for-11 on the evening, hauling down six rebounds while dishing out three assists. P.J. Washington notched 11 points with three triples in 19 minutes off the bench.
Saturday marked the first time that Caleb and Cody Martin, who were teammates in Charlotte for their first two NBA seasons (and essentially everywhere else in their basketball life), squared off against each other for the first time in a non-exhibition game in their respective NBA careers.
Both Martin twins finished with eight points; Cody had five rebounds with a pair of assists and a steal, while Caleb totaled eight rebounds, three assists and this interception thrown by Cody that led to an easy finish.
Caleb knew that pass was coming. Twin telepathy. pic.twitter.com/RH5NZgK1Qp— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 6, 2022
Miami’s now won two straight after enduring a four-game losing streak, moving to 34-20 and a share at first place in the Eastern Conference, though it’s still mere percentage points behind the Chicago Bulls. The Hornets have lost four straight, dropping to 28-26.
The Heat began the contest sloppy, missing eight of their first 11 shots with four turnovers — playing at a frantic pace (to Charlotte’s advantage). Martin’s jumper gave Miami the 14-13 lead with 4:35 left in the opening quarter.
Miami fashioned a 15-5 run over the final three minutes of the first quarter, leading 31-23. Charlotte manufactured a 14-2 run midway through the second quarter — capped by Bridges’ wing triple — re-taking the 42-40 lead.
Hornets entered halftime with the 51-46 nod, outscoring the Heat 28-15 in the second quarter. Charlotte shot 40.9 percent and 42.9 percent from distance; Miami shot 33.3 percent and was a dismal 2-of-16 (12.5 percent) from beyond the arc in the first half; Butler and Adebayo accounted for 28 of the Heat’s 46 first-half points.
Shortly thereafter, the Heat turned up.
Miami opened the second half on a 28-7 run — including 16 unanswered capped by Butler’s second-chance layup to give it the 74-57 lead with 2:21 left in the third quarter.
The Heat’s bludgening continued.
Martin’s layup made it 83-59. Back-to-back Herro 3-balls increased it to 99-69 with 5:44 remaining. The Hornets closed the final 4:30 on a 15-3 run, though it was far too little, too late to generate any sort of heart-throbbing comeback attempt.
Next up: Miami will play the fifth of their six-game road trip against the Wizards on Monday before travelling to New Orleans to conclude it’s final long road trip.