Wednesday night game round-up: The Hornets stun the Heat to take series lead

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HORNETS (6) 90, HEAT (3) 88

The Charlotte Hornets won their third straight game in the series and are now on the brink of progressing to the Eastern Conference semi-finals after an impressive fourth quarter at the American Airlines Arena.

Courtney Lee secured an important offensive rebound and hit a huge game-winning three-pointer with 25.2 seconds to go to give the visitors a lead they would not relinquish.

The Hornets outscored the Heat 25-17 in the fourth and held Erik Spoelstra's team to under 90 points for the third consecutive game after giving up 115+ in the first two.

Marvin Williams, who has struggled throughout the series, finally got it going and led the Hornets in scoring with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting and 3-of-4 from behind the arc. 

Kemba Walker had a poor shooting night going 4-of-18 from the floor but still contributed 14 points and Al Jefferson also added 14 in the win. 

Dwyane Wade had a game-high 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting and rolled back the years for Miami but despite Luol Deng posting 16 points, the home side didn't enjoy the best of nights shooting the ball as the Brit went 4-for-12 and Goran Dragic, who ended up with 10 points, was 5-of-15.  

After the South Beach outfit won the opening two games by double digits, the last three encounters have been evenly contested as was predicted before the series began. 

The momentum is firmly with the Hornets now and they will have a huge chance to clinch the series at the Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday and per the Elias Sports Bureau, the winner of game five of a best-of-seven series tied 2-2 goes on to win the series 82 percent of the time.


The Portland Trail Blazers overcame a depleted L.A. Clippers team who were, of course, missing Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and are in the driving seat to advance to the Western Conference semi-finals.

The league's Most Improved Player C.J. McCollum was the star of the show for the Blazers with a game-high 27 points on 9-of-18 shooting. 

Damian Lillard struggled for three-quarters at the Staples Center, only making one field goal, but the point guard caught fire in the fourth quarter, scoring 16 of his 22 points in the period to help the Blazers close out the game.

Moe Harkless also recorded a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the visitors secured their third consecutive win of the series. Miles Plumlee continued his good form in the first round with 10 points and 15 rebounds.

Without their two star players, the Clippers had six players in double figures but struggled in the second half as they were outscored 63-48. 

J.J. Redick had a team-high 19 points and Jamal Crawford, the Sixth Man of the Year who replaced Paul in the starting line-up, had 17 points but on 6-of-23 from the field.

DeAndre Jordan posted a double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds and Jeff Green added 17 off the bench. 

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Portland is aiming to become only the second team in NBA history to win a series after losing the opening two games by 20+ points. They can do so at the Moda Center on Friday.

ROCKETS (8) 81, WARRIORS (1) 114 

The Golden State Warriors closed out the series in style behind a big night from Klay Thompson in the absence of Steph Curry. 

The Warriors advance 4-1 over the Rockets and once again displayed their "Strength in Numbers" with a collective effort to blow out the visitors. 

It was Thompson, however, who grasped the limelight once more without his 'Splash Brother' on the court as he connected on seven three-pointers for his 27 points on the night, becoming the first player with back-to-back playoff games with at least seven makes from deep, per Elias Sports.

Draymond Green, as usual, did almost everything for the Dubs and almost finished with a triple-double as he put up 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. 

Shaun Livingston continues to do a steady job manning the point-guard position in place of Curry as he added 16 points, with a further 15 from Brandon Rush off the bench.

James Harden had a game-high 35 points for the Rockets, but he was the only player who turned up offensively for the road team. Only Michael Beasley, with 11 off the bench, was the other player in double figures.

They shot 32.6 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from three as they departed the postseason on a whimper. 

Dwight Howard, who was not a factor on the offensive end, did pull down 21 rebounds to go along with eight points. 

The Warriors will now await the winners of Portland and the Clippers in round two.

Charlotte Hornets
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
Western Conference
Houston Rockets
Southwest Division
Miami Heat
LA Clippers
Pacific Division
Northwest Division
Portland Trail Blazers
Golden State Warriors

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