Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Hornets end long playoff drought

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After the Hornets lost the first two games of their first-round series against the Heat, team owner Michael Jordan and assistant coach Patrick Ewing approached coach Steve Clifford with a suggestion: post up 7-foot rookie Frank Kaminsky more.

"When you have two first-ballot Hall of Famers. … and they both say, 'Post Frank,' " Clifford joked, "you have to post Frank."

The strategy worked.

Jeremy Lin had 18 points, and Kaminsky scored nine of his 15 during an 18-0 run in the third quarter that broke open a tie game as Charlotte beat Miami 96-80 Saturday to snap a 12-game playoff losing streak and earn its first postseason victory in 14 years.

The Heat leads the series 2-1, with Game 4 set for Monday.

"This isn't about winning one playoff game, it's about winning a playoff series," Clifford said of ending the team's playoff drought. "This gives us a chance."

Kemba Walker had 17 for Charlotte. Marvin Williams, a nonfactor in the first two games while hitting just 1 of 17 shots, finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

Luol Deng scored 19 and hit five 3-pointers, and Dwyane Wade added 17 for Miami. Hassan Whiteside had 13 points and 18 rebounds but battled foul trouble.

Miami, which shot 58 percent from the field in the first two games, was held to 34 percent. The Hornets outscored the Heat 52-28 in the paint and had four turnovers to Miami's 15.

"We made a lot of mistakes," Deng said. "In the first two games we did a good job of taking away of guys' tendencies. They rebounded and ran out when they got the lead and kept going."

Looking to combat the Heat's height advantage on the perimeter, Clifford moved Williams to small forward — in place of the injured Nicolas Batum — and inserted Kaminsky and Al Jefferson into the starting lineup.

It didn't help early when Deng hit four 3-pointers in the first six minutes on Kaminsky.

But in the third quarter, Kaminsky got matched up on Wade in the low post and took over, almost scoring at will.

Hornets 96, Heat 80

MIAMI (80): Deng 6-12 2-4 19, J.Johnson 3-11 0-0 7, Whiteside 3-6 7-11 13, Dragic 4-13 3-4 11, Wade 7-20 3-3 17, Richardson 1-5 0-2 2, Winslow 1-7 2-4 4, Stoudemire 0-1 0-0 0, Weber 0-1 0-0 0, Wright 1-2 2-2 4, Green 1-1 0-0 3, McRoberts 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-79 19-30 80.

CHARLOTTE (96): Williams 5-9 0-0 12, Kaminsky 5-12 5-5 15, Jefferson 5-11 0-0 10, Walker 4-19 8-8 17, Lee 3-11 2-2 8, Lin 7-16 2-3 18, Zeller 4-8 4-4 12, Hawes 1-2 0-0 2, Daniels 1-1 0-0 2, Hansbrough 0-0 0-0 0, Harrison 0-0 0-0 0, Lamb 0-1 0-0 0, Gutierrez 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-90 21-22 96.

Miami 28 16 14 22— 80

Charlotte 29 20 26 21— 96

3-Point GoalsMiami 7-22 (Deng 5-6, Green 1-1, J.Johnson 1-4, Wright 0-1, Dragic 0-3, Richardson 0-3, Winslow 0-4), Charlotte 5-18 (Williams 2-3, Lin 2-3, Walker 1-6, Hawes 0-1, Lee 0-2, Kaminsky 0-3). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsMiami 65 (Whiteside 18), Charlotte 54 (Williams 14). AssistsMiami 13 (Dragic 4), Charlotte 18 (Walker 7). Total FoulsMiami 20, Charlotte 24. A19,604 (19,077).

PACERS 100, RAPTORS 83: The Pacers changed lineups, moved the ball and forced turnovers.

By doing all that differently, they looked like a different team.

George Hill and Ian Mahinmi scored 22 each, Paul George added 19 and host Indiana bounced back from an embarrassing home loss two days earlier to even their series at 2 against the Raptors.

"This is how I wanted us to respond to the Game 3 loss," George said. "I thought we were very attentive and focused on evening this series up."

The turnaround from 48 hours earlier was remarkable.

The Pacers found the passion and energy they were missing Thursday, defended aggressively and won the rebounding battle for the first time in the series.

Pacers 100, Raptors 83

TORONTO (83): Carroll 4-9 0-0 12, Scola 0-5 1-2 1, Valanciunas 6-7 4-4 16, Lowry 4-12 4-6 12, DeRozan 4-15 0-0 8, Joseph 0-2 0-0 0, Patterson 2-5 3-4 8, Biyombo 1-1 3-8 5, Ross 2-9 2-2 7, Powell 3-5 2-2 10, Johnson 0-0 2-2 2, Thompson 1-1 0-0 2, Wright 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 27-74 21-30 83.

INDIANA (100): George 6-16 6-7 19, Turner 2-13 0-0 4, Mahinmi 9-14 4-5 22, G.Hill 9-11 2-2 22, Ellis 3-7 0-0 7, S.Hill 2-4 1-2 7, Lawson 2-4 0-0 4, Stuckey 3-8 0-0 6, Miles 2-3 0-1 4, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, J.Hill 0-1 0-0 0, Robinson III 2-2 1-1 5, Young 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 40-85 14-18 100.

Toronto 16 26 16 25— 83

Indiana 28 29 16 27— 100

3-Point GoalsToronto 8-30 (Carroll 4-8, Powell 2-3, Patterson 1-4, Ross 1-4, DeRozan 0-2, Scola 0-4, Lowry 0-5), Indiana 6-16 (S.Hill 2-3, G.Hill 2-4, Ellis 1-2, George 1-4, Young 0-1, Stuckey 0-2). Fouled OutLowry. ReboundsToronto 56 (Biyombo 9), Indiana 49 (Mahinmi 10). AssistsToronto 12 (Lowry 5), Indiana 24 (Mahinmi 5). Total FoulsToronto 20, Indiana 22. TechnicalsCarroll, Patterson, Valanciunas, George. A18,165 (18,165).

THUNDER 119, MAVS 108: Russell Westbrook had 25 points and 15 assists, and the visiting Thunder took a commanding 3-1 lead in a testy first-round series that got quite a bit testier.

Enes Kanter had his second straight playoff career high with 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting for Oklahoma City, which never trailed in two games in Dallas.

Kevin Durant scored 19 before he was ejected in the final minute for a flagrant foul on Dallas' Justin Anderson. It was the last of several tense moments, and Dallas team security had to make sure Durant didn't leave the court in front of the Mavericks bench.

Thunder 119, Mavericks 108

OKLAHOMA CITY (119): Durant 7-20 4-8 19, Ibaka 7-11 1-1 16, Adams 5-7 4-6 14, Westbrook 7-19 8-12 25, Roberson 1-3 0-0 2, Waiters 4-5 3-3 12, Collison 0-1 0-0 0, Kanter 12-13 4-4 28, Foye 1-4 0-0 3, Morrow 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 44-83 24-34 119.

DALLAS (108): Matthews 5-13 6-7 19, Nowitzki 12-21 3-3 27, Pachulia 4-4 1-1 9, Williams 0-0 0-0 0, Felton 9-16 0-0 19, Barea 0-7 0-0 0, Lee 3-5 0-0 6, Harris 4-5 1-2 12, Anderson 4-8 1-2 10, Mejri 2-2 2-2 6, Villanueva 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 43-83 14-17 108.

Oklahoma City 33 24 32 30— 119

Dallas 18 30 31 29— 108

3-Point GoalsOklahoma City 7-16 (Westbrook 3-5, Waiters 1-1, Ibaka 1-3, Foye 1-3, Durant 1-4), Dallas 8-22 (Harris 3-3, Matthews 3-8, Anderson 1-3, Felton 1-4, Nowitzki 0-1, Barea 0-1, Villanueva 0-2). Fouled OutNone. ReboundsOklahoma City 52 (Roberson, Adams 8), Dallas 40 (Nowitzki 8). AssistsOklahoma City 26 (Westbrook 15), Dallas 25 (Felton 11). Total FoulsOklahoma City 19, Dallas 27. TechnicalsIbaka, Westbrook, Mejri. Flagrant Fouls—Durant. Ejected—Durant. A20,516 (19,200).

CURRY'S RETURN: Stephen Curry is expected to play today in Game 4 of the Warriors' first-round series against the Rockets. Curry has missed two games with a sprained right ankle. Golden State won the first one without him, but Houston took Game 3 on Thursday.

DISCIPLINE: The league fined Celtics guard Marcus Smart $5,000 for violating its anti-flopping rules during Game 3 Friday against the Hawks. But Boston guard Isaiah Thomas said he hasn't been suspended for taking a swing at Atlanta's Dennis Schroder.

Comments

Boys basketball: Lakewood 45, Gibbs 44

ST. PETERSBURG — Once the lights dimmed in the gymnasium and the capacity crowd dispersed, Lakewood coach Anthony Lawrence spotted Gibbs coach Larry Murphy strolling past the the bleachers."Hey, Murph. Do we have to do this every time?" Lawrenc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Boys basketball: Nature Coast 78, Central 29

Boys basketball: Nature Coast 78, Central 29

BROOKSVILLE – Once again supporting its place as the top program in Hernando County, Nature Coast maintained its undefeated record in a dominant win over rival Central.While the Bears were able to upset the Sharks to win the Class 6A, District ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Girls basketball: Plant 66, Steinbrenner 31

LUTZ — Here's some discouraging news for any team that has to play Plant this season or in the next few seasons: The Panthers beat Steinbrenner 66-31 Friday night. Of those 66 points, 48 were scored by a sophomore and two freshmen.Freshman powe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Boys basketball: Plant City 79, Tampa Bay Tech 74

Boys basketball: Plant City 79, Tampa Bay Tech 74

TAMPA — Traveling to play at Tampa Bay Tech is a test for any area basketball team these days because the Titans are tough and the crowd is loud.Plant City prepared for all of the above, answered most of the questions and passed the exam Friday...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Nobody has Jameis Winston’s back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody has Jameis Winston’s back more than Dirk Koetter, offensive coordinator Todd Monken insists

Nobody is a bigger supporter of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston than head coach Dirk Koetter.That was the passionate message that offensive coordinator/receivers coach Todd Monken unloaded at his news conference Friday, saying that reports that Winst...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Westbrook, Embiid put on show in triple OT thriller

Westbrook, Embiid put on show in triple OT thriller

PHILADELPHIA — Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists, and the Thunder and the 76ers went basket-for-basket in a three-overtime thriller before Oklahoma City pulled out a 119-117 victory Friday night. Andre Roberson scored the wi...
Updated: 3 hours ago

High school scoreboard for Dec. 15

Friday’s scoreboardGirls soccerCountryside 7, Clearwater 0Osceola 9, Bradenton Bayshore 0Palm Harbor U. 2, Plant 1Boys soccerPalm Harbor U. 0, Plant 0Lennard 4, Armwood 1
Updated: 3 hours ago

Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBoxingMiddleweights: Lemieux vs. Saunders9:30 p.m.HBOCollege basketballButler vs. PurduenoonFoxMiami at George WashingtonnoonCBSSNLouisville vs. MemphisnoonESPN2Detroit vs. MichigannoonESPNUNC-Greensboro at N.C. StatenoonFSFSeton Hall at Rutgers...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

Ryan Callahan out at least 3-4 weeks for Lightning

When Lightning wing Ryan Callahan took a nasty spill into the boards Thursday night, it didn't look good.Turns out, it wasn't. Callahan will be sidelined indefinitely with an upper body injury, evaluated after three to four weeks, per GM Steve Yzerma...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Rangers hold off Pacific-leading Kings

Rangers hold off Pacific-leading Kings

NEW YORK — Rick Nash scored the tiebreaking goal with 3:27 left to lead the Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Pacific Division-leading Kings on Friday night. Chris Kreider, Kevin Hayes and J.T. Miller scored to help New York win for the second time i...
Updated: 4 hours ago