CHARLOTTE, N.C. (SportsDirect Inc.) — The Miami Heat have put on an offensive clinic in breezing to a 2-0 lead over the Hornets and hope to keep the points coming when the series shifts to Charlotte for Game 3 on Saturday.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Summer ‘Muggies’ & Afternoon Storms This Sunday
The Heat scored a franchise playoff-record 123 points in Game 1 and tallied 72 in the first half of a 115-103 triumph in Game 2.
Miami is shooting 57.8 percent from the floor through the first two games and Dwyane Wade is averaging 22 points and 7.5 assists to lead the way.
“We can’t expect to take this same offensive game on the road,” Wade told reporters. “If that ever happens praise God, thank you. We got to expect to win these games with our defense, and our defense has to be better.”
The Hornets got strong performances from Kemba Walker and Al Jefferson in Game 2 but went 1-of-16 from 3-point range and could not match the Heat’s pace.
Charlotte’s outside shooting took another hit when starting guard Nicolas Batum went down with a foot injury, and he is not expected to play in Game 3.READ MORE: Rapper Polo G, Others Facing Charges Following Traffic Stop In Miami
TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FSN Sun (Miami)
ABOUT THE HEAT: Miami believes it has a team that can contend for the Eastern Conference title, and the veterans are making sure the younger players are aware of what’s at stake. “A couple of our veterans spoke up in the locker room — Dwyane, (Luol Deng), (Udonis Haslem),” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “They have been in these situations before. They can be precarious. You have to say on edge. That’s the toughest part. I said it before, I said it yesterday. I wish we could all just go to our caves and wait and quiet (the noise) and get ready for the next battle.” Deng was a remarkable 11-of-13 from the field in Game 1 and was solid again with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting in Game 2.
ABOUT THE HORNETS: Batum was one of the keys to the Charlotte offense in the regular season while averaging career highs of 14.8 points and 5.8 assists and scored a team-high 24 points in Game 1 but will likely miss the rest of the series. His absence sets the Hornets back on offense and does not do much to boost the team defensively with Jeremy Lin likely to absorb some extra minutes. “I know my team,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford told reporters. “I watch my team closer than anybody. I’m going to look and figure out what the problems are. If we need to make an adjustment, we’ll make it. But this isn’t they’re running stuff that we’re having trouble guarding. We’ve got to keep the ball out of the middle. We’ve got to be cleaner with our basic coverages. We’ve got to make sure we’re not turning the ball over and staying organized on offense.”
1. Hornets starting F Marvin Williams totaled two points on 1-of-17 shooting in the first two games.
2. Miami C Hassan Whiteside is averaging 19 points on 17-of-19 shooting, 12 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in the series.MORE NEWS: Second Annual 'Floatarama' Held On The New River To Celebrate Pride Month
3. Charlotte is 7-of-33 from 3-point range in the series.