Wayne Ellington made a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left as the host Miami Heat rallied from a 15-point, third-quarter deficit to defeat the Charlotte Hornets 95-91 on Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami led 92-91 when Ellington pump-faked, dribbled and released from the top of the key, dooming Charlotte.
Josh Richardson scored a team-high 19 points and Ellington had 17 as Miami swept the four-game season series against Charlotte this season. The Heat also improved to 5-16 when trailing entering the fourth quarter.
Kemba Walker scored 30 points, and Dwight Howard added 20 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks for the Hornets.
Walker scored more than 20 points for his fifth straight game, but he missed a free throw that would have tied the score with 30 seconds left.
Howard posted his eighth straight game with at least 15 rebounds. He also reached 30 double-doubles for the 13th time in 14 years.
Heat shooting guard Tyler Johnson returned to the starting lineup after missing five games due to a sprained left ankle. He scored eight points in 21 minutes.
Charlotte got off to a good start, leading 26-22 after the first quarter. Walker scored nine points in the period, and the Hornets were plus-five on turnovers.
Miami surged ahead in the second quarter, leading by as many as 11 points before settling for a 54-48 halftime advantage. Walker, with 19 points, was the only player on either team who was a double-figure scorer in the first half.
The Heat had a 32-18 advantage in first-half paint points, allowing them to shoot 50 percent from the floor while Charlotte made only 35 percent.
The Hornets caught fire in the third quarter, using a 27-4 run to take a 78-71 lead headed to the fourth. Howard scored 12 points in the third on four free throws, three layups and one dunk.
For the game, Miami outshot Charlotte 44.7 percent to 34.5 percent. The Hornets had a big edge at the foul line, though, making 28 of 35 attempts to the Heat’s 11 of 18.
--Field Level Media