CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker and Marvin Williams scored 18 points apiece to lead the Charlotte Hornets to their third straight victory, 99-81 over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Police Band Together To Help 7-Year-Old Burn Patient
Tyler Johnson scored 20 for Miami, which had won three of four. Dwyane Wade and Gerald Green each added 11.
Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb added 10 points apiece for the Hornets, who learned earlier in the day the NBA suspended injured center Al Jefferson for five games for violating the terms of the NBA/NBPA Anti-Drug Program.
Jefferson, out with a strained left calf, will begin to serve the suspension when he returns to action.
Charlotte opened a 77-52 lead late in the third quarter on Cody Zeller’s dunk. The Hornets pushed their lead to 65-44 with three straight 3-pointers spanning the halves, including two consecutive from PJ Hairston, his only points of the game.
Batum gave Charlotte a 30-point lead with a dunk early in the fourth period. Miami shot 39 percent (29 of 75) and committed 18 turnovers that led to 21 points.READ MORE: Milder Breeze Returns Along With Showers This Week
Hornets: Charlotte’s 12-8 start in 20 games was seven games better than the same stretch last season. . Charlotte entered the game Wednesday third in the Eastern Conference in offensive rating (103.9). Last season, Charlotte ranked 13th out of 15 Eastern Conference teams.
Heat: Luol Deng returned to action. He missed six games (left hamstring strain). . Wade played his 800th career game. Former Hornets center Robert Parish holds the record with 1,611. . Center Hassan Whiteside, from nearby Gastonia, played for the first time as a pro in Charlotte. Whiteside has opened the season with two or more blocks in every game (20). He trails only Mark Eaton (24, 1988-89 with Utah) and Shaquille O’Neal (23, 1992-93 with Orlando) for longest streaks to start a season.
Heat: Visit Indiana on Friday.
Hornets: Visit Memphis on Friday.MORE NEWS: 'It Was Just Crazy': Florida Sen. Audrey Gibson On Verbal Attack By Sen. Ileana Garcia
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