Miami shooters bring heat for 2nd straight playoff game
Dwyane Wade sank two key late baskets as the Miami Heat shot better than 57 percent for the second straight game en route to a 115-103 playoff victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
After a franchise playoff-best first half of shooting, Miami maintained control in the second half to protect home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference series and go ahead 2-0.
Game three is Saturday in Charlotte.
In Western Conference action, LeBron James scored 27 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers tied an NBA playoff record with 20 three-pointers in a 107-90 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Wade scored a team-high 28 points and added eight assists for the Heat, who shot 57.9 percent from the floor on Wednesday. That followed a game one victory in which they shot 57.6 percent.
“We came out and played the game we needed to play,” said Wade.
The Hornets cut an 18-point deficit in the third quarter to seven with under four minutes to play, but the Heat clamped down defensively.
A total of five Miami players finished in double figures, including Hassan Whiteside who scored 17 points on eight-of-eight shooting from the field and Luol Deng with 16 points.
Whiteside added 13 rebounds and two blocks, and Goran Dragic scored 18 points and Josh Richardson scored 15.
“Everything was falling for me,” Whiteside said.
Miami took a 72-60 lead into halftime thanks to shooting a franchise playoff-best 74.4 percent from the field in the first half, including seven-of-10 from three-point range.
While the Heat were nine-of-16 from three-point range, the Hornets hit just one-of-16 from beyond the arc.
Kemba Walker had a game-high 29 points and Al Jefferson scored 25 on 12-of-17 shooting from the floor for the Hornets.
The Hornets’ Marvin Williams missed all 10 of his shots from the floor to finish scoreless. Nicolas Batum had nine points and seven rebounds but left early in the fourth quarter with a sprained left ankle and did not return.
The Cavaliers now lead their series 2-0 with game three on Friday night at Detroit.
The Cavs struggled to put away the Pistons in game one and struggled again until late in the third quarter on Wednesday.
They trailed by 10 points early and still were behind midway through the third quarter before a Kevin Love three-pointer gave Cleveland the lead for good at 63-62.
The 20 three-pointers were more than the Cavs made in any game during the regular season and made them the fourth team to hit 20 in a postseason game. The most recent was the Golden State Warriors last year.