Ellington and Johnson score 16 each in Heat win vs. Hornets

Miami Heat's Dion Waiters (11) drives between Charlotte Hornets' Treveon Graham (21) and Kemba Walker (15) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Dec. 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington scored 16 points each and Miami held off a late rally for a 104-98 victory against the Charlotte Hornets

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Playing without two injured post players on Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets, the Miami Heat turned to perimeter shooting from its bench for scoring punch.

Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington delivered to lift Miami to a .500 record with a 104-98 victory.

Johnson and Ellington scored 16 points each in Miami's 24th win in its past 30 games against Charlotte (10-18), which opened a stretch of six of seven home games with a loss. Johnson and Ellington combined for 10-of-16 shooting on 3-pointers.

With center Hassan Whiteside and forward Justise Winslow back home with knee injuries, Johnson and Ellington routinely hit 3-pointers at points in the game the Hornets appeared poised to make a comeback.

"It's very, very helpful to have that," said the Heat's Kelly Olynyk, who, along with Josh Richardson, James Johnson and Bam Adebayo, scored 11 points. "That second unit is tough to guard. They're making guys pay."

Dion Waiters scored 12 for the Heat.

"They showed their depth tonight," Hornets associate head coach Stephen Silas said. "They had seven guys in double figures and no one over 16 points. When you play like that, it's a winning combination."

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 23 points after aggravating a wrist injury and leaving the game in the first half. He returned to start the second half with his left wrist wrapped, and his 3-pointer with 3:16 left pulled Charlotte within 100-93 after trailing by 17.

"As soon as Kemba Walker hit that one 3-pointer, I turned to the bench and said, 'Uh-oh,'" said coach Erik Spoelstra, who tied Pat Riley's career win record for Miami. "I like our guys having to go through all that stress and anxiety and have to execute under duress and under the pressure in context of a close game."

Walker drew a foul against Johnson, his fifth, with 2:02 left. His free throws closed the gap to 100-96, and Dwight Howard's driving layup brought the Hornets within 100-98. Waiters hit a fadeaway for Miami's first basket in more than 2 minutes and a 102-98 lead.

Miami pulled away with free throws from Goran Dragic for the final margin.

"We have to find a way to be consistent and win these games," said Hornets guard Nicolas Batum, who struggled to a 2-for-7 shooting performance but finished with a season-high tying 10 assists. "It's right there. We have to find a way to create for other guys."

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist shot 6 of 8 for 13 points for Charlotte, which has lost five of its past six. Howard recorded his fourth double-double in five games for Charlotte with 15 points and 16 rebounds. It was his 16th double-double this season.

TIP-INS

Heat: Whiteside (knee), who has missed eight consecutive games, returned to practice on Thursday.

Hornets: The Hornets last won the series against Miami in 2009-2010. Miami leads the season series 2-0.

MICKEY'S DEVELOPMENT: F Jordan Mickey nearly gave Miami four double-digit scorers off the bench. Mickey, who has spent time working on skill development with Juwan Howard, shot 4 of 6 with seven rebounds in more than 15 minutes on the court.

"He's in the best shape that he's been in this past week," Spoelstra said. "All of his testing has been phenomenal and that is what you want of your young players. You never know when you're going to get an opportunity."

TROUBLE WITH THE 3: Miami (11 for 31, 35.5 percent) shot slightly lower than Charlotte (10 for 27, 37 percent) from 3-point range, but the timing made the difference. Heat shooters found open shots on defensive lapses off penetration all night.

"We were biting on shot fakes, they were driving by us," Silas said. "They had isolations, they were driving by us. It wasn't necessarily the rim protection, it was the drive and kicks. That's the problem that I see and it's a recurring issue that we've had."

UP NEXT

Heat: Host Clippers on Saturday night.

Hornets: Host Trail Blazers on Saturday night.

___

For more NBA coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Related News

DeGeneres defends herself after posting photo...

Aug 17, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres says she's not racist after receiving backlash on social media for posting an...

Rams' Quinn heads to Rio watch sister in...

Aug 17, 2016

Heading to Rio: Rams defensive end Robert Quinn misses practice to head to Olympics to watch sister...

University of California, Berkeley chancellor...

Aug 17, 2016

University of California, Berkeley chancellor has resigned his post after facing criticism for...

Racers whip across Utah's famed salt flats after...

Aug 17, 2016

Thousands of racers have descended on Utah's famed Bonneville Salt Flats after two years of...

Dolphins' Hard Rock Stadium deal is for nearly...

Aug 17, 2016

Three Miami Dolphins and nearly two dozen other VIPs simultaneously smashed guitars in the end zone...

McGregor arrives late, Diaz walks out, bottles...

Aug 18, 2016

From the late entrance to the expletive-laden comments to the bottle-throwing finale, Conor...

You may also like these

Rams' Quinn heads to Rio watch sister in...

Aug 17, 2016

Heading to Rio: Rams defensive end Robert Quinn misses practice to head to Olympics to watch sister...

'He's San Francisco': Tony Bennett honored for...

Aug 20, 2016

The city of San Francisco threw a 90th birthday bash for Tony Bennett, who first sang "I Left My...

Ryan Lochte says 'immature behavior' got him into...

Aug 21, 2016

American swimmer Ryan Lochte said he over-exaggerated what happened at a Rio de Janeiro gas station...

AP NewsBreak: Feds want to ban swimming with...

Aug 24, 2016

Federal regulators are proposing a ban on swimming with dolphins in Hawaii

US women's gymnastics team flips over Broadway's...

Aug 24, 2016

The U.S. women's gymnastics team has flipped over Broadway's "Hamilton," in a night that had...

About Us

Sportify News offers you high quality sports journalism. Take a deep look in the world of sports as we bring you the latest news on acquisitions, sponsorships, lineups and more!

Contact us: sales@sportifynews.com

Subscribe Now!

Quick Links

HomePress