Hornets snap playoff skid with win over Heat
LOS ANGELES USA – Jeremy Lin scored 18 points to lead a balanced Charlotte attack on Saturday, April 23 (Sunday, April 24 in Manila) as the Hornets beat the Miami Heat 96-80 for their first NBA playoff victory in 14 years.
After two deflating defeats in Miami, the Hornets fed off their home crowd to trim the deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series to 2-1.
The Hornets led by 5 points at halftime, and held the Heat scoreless for almost 7 minutes in an 18-0 scoring run in the third quarter that built their lead to 71-53.
The cushion grew to as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter as six Charlotte players finished in double figures.
Kemba Walker contributed 17 points and rookie Frank Kaminsky, part of yet another new starting lineup from coach Steve Clifford, added 15.
Marvin Williams notched a double-double of 12 points and 14 rebounds, and the Hornets set a club post-season record for fewest turnovers with four.
The Heat, who combined to shoot 57.8 percent in winning the first two games of the series in Miami, hit 10 of their first 15 shots but then struggled to find the basket.
They missed 9 straight attempts during Charlotte's 18-0 run, connecting on 34.2 percent from the field for the game.
Luo Deng led the Heat with 19 points. Dwayne Wade scored 17 and Hassan Whiteside added 13 points and 18 rebounds for the Heat, who will try to rebound on the road in Game Four on Monday.
The Michael Jordan-owned Hornets, meanwhile, will be trying to build on the momentum of their first post-season win since they reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in the 2001-02 season.
They had been swept in two playoff series since. – Rappler.com