Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Hornets win after wild finish

MIAMI — Courtney Lee was steaming after missing a layup that would have given the Hornets the lead heading into the final minute.

His anger didn't last long.

The Heat's will last for a while.

Lee's 3-pointer with 25.2 seconds left put Charlotte ahead to stay, and the Hornets beat Miami 90-88 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Wednesday night.

The Hornets have won three straight in the series and take a 3-2 lead into a potential Game 6 clincher Friday night.

Miami thought Dwyane Wade was fouled with 2.6 seconds left, then thought it fouled Cody Zeller in an effort to send him to the line as time was running out. Neither call came, and the Heat is on the brink of elimination.

Marvin Williams led the Hornets with 17 points and Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker had 14 each for Charlotte, which got its first road playoff win in 14 years. Jeremy Lin added 11.

Wade scored 25 for Miami. Luol Deng had 15, Joe Johnson 13 and Hassan Whiteside 11 plus 12 rebounds.

Lee missed a layup with about a minute left, insisting he got fouled by Wade. But the Heat came up empty on the ensuing possession, and Lee got an offensive rebound and eventually scored on Charlotte's next trip down the floor.

That capped the scoring as Miami left stunned.

Miami started the game by running out to a 14-6 lead before the Hornets answered with a 14-0 run featuring four 3-pointers from four players. The Hornets finished with five 3s in the first quarter for a 28-25 lead and were ahead 40-28 midway through the second.

That's when Wade got going.

He scored 10 of his 14 first-half points in the final 5:49, sparking a 17-7 Miami burst to get within 49-47. In that stretch, he hit a short bank shot, a midrange jumper, a layup, a finger roll off a Eurostep move and a dunk in traffic.

Hornets 90, Heat 88

CHARLOTTE (90): Williams 7-10 0-0 17, Kaminsky 3-8 0-0 8, Jefferson 7-14 0-0 14, Walker 4-18 3-3 14, Lee 2-9 2-2 8, Lin 4-10 3-6 11, Batum 2-6 2-2 8, Zeller 1-4 2-2 4, Hawes 3-5 0-0 6. Totals 33-84 12-15 90.

MIAMI (88): J.Johnson 5-8 2-3 13, Deng 4-12 6-6 16, Whiteside 5-8 1-2 11, Dragic 5-15 0-0 10, Wade 11-19 3-4 25, Richardson 3-8 0-0 8, McRoberts 0-2 0-0 0, Winslow 1-6 3-4 5, Green 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 34-81 15-19 88.

Charlotte 28 21 16 25— 90

Miami 25 22 24 17— 88

3-Point GoalsCharlotte 12-24 (Williams 3-4, Walker 3-5, Lee 2-2, Kaminsky 2-5, Batum 2-5, Hawes 0-1, Lin 0-2), Miami 5-18 (Richardson 2-5, Deng 2-6, J.Johnson 1-2, McRoberts 0-1, Green 0-1, Dragic 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsCharlotte 50 (Williams 8), Miami 55 (Whiteside 12). AssistsCharlotte 21 (Lin 7), Miami 17 (Wade 4). Total FoulsCharlotte 14, Miami 16. A19,685 (19,600).

THOMAS OKAY: All signs point toward Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas being able to play in Game 6 tonight against the Hawks, coach Brad Stevens said. Stevens said he'd gotten all positive updates on the All-Star, who limped to the locker room with a mild left ankle sprain late in Tuesday's loss in Atlanta.

BROOKS DOESN'T TAKE BAIT: New Wizards coach Scott Brooks was surprised it took so long to get the question. Almost 15 minutes into his introductory news conference he was asked, "Let's get this out of the way: Are you going to bring Kevin Durant here?" Brooks, who coached Durant with the Thunder, stayed mum. "I'm excited about the team, guys," he said with a smile. "We have a great group of guys. I understand the question. But I'm excited about the group of guys we have here."

COACHING HUNTS: The Knicks have interviewed former Cavaliers coach David Blatt for their head coaching position. Blatt was fired by Cleveland after leading it to the NBA Finals last year in his first season and a 30-11 record this season. … The Lakers received permission from the Warriors to interview top assistant Luke Walton, who led Golden State to a 24-0 start while filling in for ailing Steve Kerr.

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