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Batum nears triple-double as Hornets sting Heat

Agence France-Presse
Batum nears triple-double as Hornets sting Heat

AFP

Nicolas Batum falls just shy of his second triple-double in 4 games

LOS ANGELES, USA – Charlotte guard Nicolas Batum fell just shy of his second triple-double in 4 games on Thursday, December 29 (Friday Manila time) as the Hornets erased a halftime deficit to beat the Miami Heat 91-82.

France’s Batum scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out 8 assists.

He had 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a win over the Chicago Bulls on December 23.

The host Hornets trailed by seven at halftime but scored the first 8 points of the third quarter and went on to out-score Miami 31-17 in the period.

“The thing I liked was obviously the third quarter, where we played well again,” said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. “And then we have struggled with our fourth-quarter defense for much of the year, and tonight we did a great job of that.”

Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 22 points, his three-pointer with 1:40 to play giving Charlotte an 89-82 lead.

The Hornets also got 13 points from Marvin Williams and 10 points from Jeremy Lamb, improving to 19-14 with their second straight victory, which came on the heels of a 120-101 romp past the Magic in Orlando.

Charlotte center Cody Zeller played despite suffering a cut on his hand in that victory in Florida, but the Hornets were without guard Marco Belinelli, who has a sprained ankle.

The injury ravaged heat, using their 12th different starting lineup of the year, lost their third straight game.

Josh Richardson led Miami with 20 points, and Tyler Johnson scored 18.

Goran Dragic returned from a back injury but connected on just two of 11 from the field for 5 points.

The Heat were without forward Josh McRoberts, who has broken foot, as well as guard Dion Waiters. – Rappler.com

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