Heat rebound by stinging Hornets
NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) –
The Miami Heat rebounded from the end of their 27-game winning streak by clinching the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a 108-89 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
LeBron James nailed seven three pointers en route to a 36-point effort for the Heat who saw the second-longest win streak in National Basketball Association history halted with a defeat to Chicago earlier this week.
Dwyane Wade finished with 17 points and nine assists and Norris Cole and Chris Bosh scored 12 and 10 points respectively for the reigning NBA champions who improved to 57-15 atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Ryan Anderson scored 20 points for the Hornets, who fell to 3-3 on a seven-game homestand.
Eric Gordon had 17 points, Brian Roberts scored 13 points and Anthony Davis chipped in 11 points and four steals for the Hornets who has won six in a row at home against Miami.
Miami lost 101-97 on Wednesday, falling just six wins short of tying the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers record-setting mark.
The Heat, who were without guard Mario Chalmers, started the second quarter on a 17-5 surge. James made three from beyond the arc during the run that Chris Andersen capped with a dunk, making it 49-27 with 6:31 left before half time.
James scored 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting in the first half, helping Miami take a 60-43 into the third.
The Heat started the second half on a 10-2 surge to boost their lead to 70-45. Miami then took an 81-60 lead into the final quarter, where they cruised to the victory.
Miami has now won four straight games overall against the Hornets.