It was a reminder that the Miami Heat matches could be more than the hair-driving thrills that are decided in the last nervous seconds.

Saturday night 132-115 victory over guest Charlotte Hornets was indeed – do we dare to say it? – game.

While the record remains south of 0.500 at 6-7, Saturday night offered 25 Heat in the first five minutes of the third quarter, an 11 out of 11 shootout starts in the second half and enough pillow that Kyle Lowry didn’t have to push to the finish line on triple-double.

But that wasn’t a lonely pillow on a night of frivolity against the Eastern Conference worst team, which now has an eight-loser streak.

There was also a pink cushion at the feet of DJ Khaled, who sat next to the Heat bench on the north side of the sideline, showing off his signature new limited edition Jordan Brand shoes.

And the celebration began before the final blast, as quarterback Heat honored Tim Hardaway at halftime to introduce him to September’s Basketball Hall of Fame with a warm and passionate ceremony.

Heck, even Jamal Cain made his NBA debut and scored his first NBA points. Nikola Jovic also played.

“It was one step to getting us to .500.” said the Adebayo center.

In terms of play, Heat made the announcement as they came out of the break to beat Hornets 45-25 in the third quarter.

“In the second half, everything definitely worked to our advantage,” said coach Erik Spoelstra. “I still think we have a few more levels to get to.”

Guard Max Strus led the Heat with 31 points, scoring 8 out of 14 out of 3. Adebayo provided a strength game with 24 points and 15 rebounds.

When it comes to filling the boxscore, Jimmy Butler finished with 20 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds for Heat, while Lowry finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists.

“It was great,” said Butler, “I had to take my shoes off and put them on a pillow like DJ Khaled.”

Five degrees of heat from Saturday’s game:

1. Closing time: Heat led 34-33 at the end of the first quarter, losing 59-57 at half time, then leading 102-84, moving to the fourth.

Even then, the team, which already lost a couple of 15 points this week, was losing to visitors to the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday, and then ahead of the Hornets on the same Thursday. regaining victory in extra time.

In fact, Charlotte reduced the deficit to 102-91 in less than two minutes after the fourth quarter.

But this time there is no need to play until the last tick as Heat moved to 19 from 7:20 ahead of the game, flying from there.

“I mean, it was definitely fun to get this one without having to have everyone present in the last seconds,” said Adebayo. “I feel like this is what we should play.”

2. A fresh look: Heat came out of the hiatus, soaking, hitting his first 11 shots, including 4 out of 4 for 3 points. The streak did not end until Lowry managed to complete a 4:48 three-point attempt in the third quarter.

Heat closed that third, 16 out of 21 out of the box, 6 out of 9 for 3 and 7 out of 8 out of the line, while taking Charlotte 15-5 in the third.

Hornets scored 1 out of 8 out of 3 in the third.

Spoelstra said even before the third period that he sensed that things were going the right way.

“For the most part, I thought it was pretty cool energy,” he said about the first half.

And no, there is no fiery speech in the break to set the tone in the third quarter.

“Honestly, I didn’t say anything during the break,” said Spoelstra.

3. Loose ostrich: Though the 3-point kicks were a struggle for a fever, including 6 out of 21 in the first half, Strus helped make things right in the third by converting all three points during that period.

“Max was on fire,” Butler said.

From then on, he continued, and his seventh 3-point attempt moved him alongside Antoine Walker to 24th place on the All-Time Heat list.

“I started early and my teammates were looking for me,” said Strus. “It’s easy when it goes like this.”

Ostrich finished his career high in his career by one point and one for three.

“Today we were taking pictures,” said Adebayo. “It’s a deciding factor.”

4. Herro comes out again: Tyler Herro missed his third game in a row with an ankle sprain on November 9 against the Indiana Pacers.

“He did the work on the shootings and everything backstage,” said Spoelstra. ‚ÄúSometimes these things just take a little longer than you want. And this is where we are now. But he does whatever he needs to give himself a chance.

Strus started playing in Herro’s place again, making him Strus’s sixth start in 13 Heat games, at a time when he was expected to switch to Herro’s sixth role last season.

5. Still FTX: While the goal remains to remove the name of the former arena name rights holder, there was still a large presence of FTX, including the logo of the failed cryptocurrency exchange prominently displayed on either side of the pitch.

While not a formal policy, the team began calling the facility the “House of Heat” when identification was needed.


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