The Miami Heat are struggling to regain a Playoff spot as they are 37-40 at ninth place. Tonight, they will go to North Carolina to take on the 36-41 Charlotte Hornets. These two Eastern Conference teams have met up three times this season with Charlotte taking two of the three. The first matchup was on October 28 in South Beach, where the Hornets won pulled away with a 97-91 win. In that game, Kemba Walker dropped 24 points while Hassan Whiteside went for 20 points. The next matchup was on December 29 in Charlotte where the home team beat the Heat, 91 to 82. In that meeting, Kemba Walker scored 22 points while Josh Richardson dropped 20. The third meeting was on March 8 in Florida, where Miami won 108-101. In that matchup, Dion Waiter went for 24 points while Kemba Walker scored 33 points. The Waiter-less Miami Heat would look to even the series out tonight and hopefully regain a Playoff seed.
The first quarter started off well for Goran Dragic, as he scored eight points and hitting two of his three 3-pointers, along with James Johnson earning six points. The visiting team would end the quarter with a 27 to 23 lead. Even though the Hornets would return the favor with a 28-25 run in the second quarter, Goran Dragic wasn’t looking to cool off as he drops an additional eleven points, going 88 percent from the field. On the other hand, Kemba Walker scored nine points along with a pair of three-pointers but the Heat would still walk into the locker room with a one-point lead at the half. The third quarter belonged to the Miami Heat as Dragic continued to put on a display, earning himself ten points and hitting another two of three 3-pointers. Nicolas Batum dropped twelve points for his home team but it was the visiting team that ended the third on a 34 to 22 run. The fourth quarter would look slightly better for the North Carolina ball team, as Marvin Williams went for ten points but it was the Miami Heat that pulled away with a 112 to 99 win, gaining the eighth-seed back in the Playoff race. Goran Dragic ended with 33 points and Hassan Whiteside ended with a double-double (13 points and 20 rebounds), claiming Miami Heat’s single-season double-double record.