CHARLOTTE - This was a night of overcoming for the Heat – overcoming the absence of injured Hassan Whiteside and Justise Winslow, overcoming early foul trouble for Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk, overcoming another poor shooting night from the Heat’s starting backcourt and overcoming a late 13-4 Hornets surge.
A surprising lift from seldom-used forward Jordan Mickey, sizzling shooting from Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington and contributions from several others lifted the Heat past Charlotte, 104-98, on Friday at Spectrum Center, pushing Miami back to .500 at14-14, with the Los Angeles Clippers visiting AmericanAirlines Arena on Saturday.
After the Hornets closed a 96-85 deficit to 100-98, Dion Waiters hit a 12-foot jumper with just over a minute left and Charlotte failed to score on its next two possessions.
Tyler Johnson (16 points) hit all four of his three pointers, making him 20 for his last 32 on threes. Wayne Ellington (16 points) his five of 10 threes, making him 16 of his last 26 on threes.
Mickey, pressed into service when Olynyk and Adebayo picked up their second fouls in the first quarter, tied a career high in points (eight) and set a career high in rebounds (seven) in 15 first half minutes.
Olynyk, Josh Richardson, James Johnson and Bam Adebayo each added 11. Waiters (12) had the big basket late but finished 5 for 14. Goran Dragic (eight points) was just 2 for 10 from the field.
The Heat led 53-47 at the half and 79-71 after three.
Miami now has held Charlotte below 100 points in 20 consecutive road games, the second-longest such streak in the past 50 years in the NBA. Meanwhile, Erik Spoelstra tied Pat Riley for most victories by a Heat coach, with 454, and did it in 99 fewer games than Riley.