Tyler Herro made a layup to tie the Miami Heat with the Charlotte Hornets at 15 points apiece with 4:19 left in the first quarter on Saturday night.
Then Max Strus missed a three and Caleb Martin missed a layup. Strus missed again, then Victor Oladipo, Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo each missed. Martin missed a three and the fourth was over, but when the second half started, the story remained the same.
Miami went nearly six minutes without making a field goal before an Adebayo dunk with 10:24 left in the second quarter. The Heat missed nine straight field goal attempts. As they struggled to hit shots, Charlotte took a 31-16 lead. The Hornets ended up building a 22-point lead, and although the Heat came back to tie the game later on, they never got back ahead in a 108-103 loss to the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference after starting their post-All- The best part of the season with a dud against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night.
“We lost. I don’t care if we lost by 30 or lost by 30 or lost by one. We lost,” said star Jimmy Butler.
After shooting 44.3 percent in their five games before the All-Star break, the Heat shot 39.5 percent in their last two losses. By the end of Saturday’s game, the Heat had improved their shooting percentage to 40%. They hit 30.8 percent of their three-point attempts. Both numbers are below Miami’s season averages of 45% and 33.1%, respectively.
“It’s tough. But we positioned ourselves, we put ourselves in that position in the first quarter”, said Herro. “From there, we had to increase our intensity, our ability to disturb at both ends. him, especially in this league with a lot of good teams and a lot of good players. It’s up to us as players to bring our best efforts every night. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way, but we have to bring our energy to the parties most important of each game.”
Butler was the team’s best shooter on the night, making 6 of his 8 shots. Herro boosted Miami’s percentage behind the arc, scoring 6 of 12 threes to help keep Miami in the game. Aside from Herro, the rest of the Heat shot 20.8 percent from three (5-of-24).
“He was important to us,” said Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra. “He arrived at his places. It’s a shame we didn’t find a way to figure this out and get the win.
The Heat didn’t get crucial contributions from their bench, with the reserves going 4-of-19 from the field and 1-of-11 from three.
“That first room was pretty ugly,” Spoelstra said. “But after that, I really liked the pictures we were getting. We just weren’t able to take them down. It looked like we were missing layups and open threes, but the intention was right. The guys were playing the right way and then we started to get into a better rhythm in the second half.”
The Heat have a chance to salvage this three-game trip, traveling to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Monday night. Philadelphia (39-20) is the No. 3 team in the East and is coming off a heartbreaking 110-107 loss to No. 1 Boston on Saturday that ended with a last-second win by Jayson Tatum.
“First and foremost, we need to get the shots right,” said veteran striker Kevin Love. “We need to play a collective game, all of us, everyone that’s in rotation right now, just making sure that we’re putting in those extra efforts. You didn’t see it. … But we are more than capable. Definitely more than capable.”
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