Charlotte Hornets snap playoff losing streak in game three win over Miami Heat

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Football News

The Charlotte Hornets came into game three of their first-round series against the Miami Heat on Saturday night looking not only for their first win of the 2016 playoffs but for their fist postseason victory in 14 years.

Trailing 2-0 in the series, the Eastern Conference's sixth seeds were facing up to a 12-game playoff losing streak dating back to 2002.

Thanks largely to an 18-0 run in the third quarter, they snapped that run, winning out 96-80 at the Time Warner Cable Arena to put themselves back in contention to progress to the Conference Semi Finals.

There were strong performances all over the court for Charlotte. Jeremy Lin scored a team-high 18 points in just 26 minutes of action off the bench, while Kemba Walker added 17 points and seven assists. 

Key move

It was the addition of Frank Kaminsky into the starting lineup at small forward, however, that perhaps proved most decisive. 

Frank "The Tank" ended the night with 15 points, 11 of them coming in the third quarter as the Hornets moved away from Miami to take a commanding lead. 

Having been up by just five points at half time (49-44), Charlotte ended the third period ahead 75-58 - the Heat kept scoreless for over six minutes of the quarter.

Extending the lead to 24 points at one point in the fourth quarter, it was only a late flurry from Miami that kept the result from being a total blowout.

For Miami, it was an underwhelming performance all round after two impressive displays on their own court to open the series.

They actually started the game in a similar vein of form, British star Luol Deng making four of four three-points shots in the opening six minutes as the Heat took a 20-15 lead.

That was just about as good as it got for the Eastern Conference third seed, however, in a game that saw their field goal percentage drop from 58 percent in game to to just 32 percent.

Although Deng finished with a game-high 19 points and Dwyane Wade (17 points) and Hassan Whiteside (13 points, 18 rebounds) finished with respectable totals, Eric Spoelstra's team were outfought by Charlotte in a number of areas.

Turning over the ball 14 times compared to the Hornets' three, Miami were heavily outscored in the paint 52 points to 28. 

The teams will meet again in game four on Monday night with Charlotte having the opportunity to level up the series.

Charlotte Hornets
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
NBA Playoffs
Miami Heat
Jeremy Lin

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