MIAMI (SportsDirect Inc.) — The Charlotte Hornets had a chance to close out the series at home but ran into a vintage performance from Dwyane Wade in Game 6.READ MORE: Miami Dade College Hosts Wake For Congresswoman Carrie Meek
Now it’s the Miami Heat with a chance to clinch the best-of-7 series in front of their home fans, and they host the Hornets in the decisive Game 7 on Sunday.
Wade scored 10 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter of Friday’s 97-90 triumph, including a pair of rare 3-pointers that helped seal the win.
“I trust my teammates and I love them, but if we were going to lose, I was going out shooting it,” Wade told reporters. “At this point in my career, I play for these moments. … It’s what makes you feel alive.”
Kemba Walker tried to carry his team in the same manner and finished with 37 points on 14-of-30 shooting in the losing effort for the Hornets.
“It’s always tough to lose, obviously,” Walker told reporters. “We made so many mistakes. We just have to be better. Of course I wish it had gone our way, but they just made great plays down the stretch, and they deserved to win.”
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ABOUT THE HORNETS: Walker scored 14 of the team’s 20 points in the fourth quarter on Friday and could use a more consistent effort from the other perimeter players on the team. Small forward Marvin Williams and guards Courtney Lee, Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lin have shined at times in the series but combined to go 4-of-22 from the floor in Game 6, and Batum missed the second half with ankle and foot injuries that already forced him out of two games in the series. “I tried everything,” Batum told the Charlotte Observer. “I tried hard, but I can’t push side to side. I was hurting the team much more than I was helping the team. So I told coach, ‘if you need me in the second half, call me.’ But it’s tough.”
ABOUT THE HEAT: Wade is getting more of a boost from his teammates, and Loul Deng continued a strong series with 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting in Game 6. The veteran forward is averaging 19.7 points in the series (up from 12.3 in the regular season) while shooting 51.4 percent from 3-point range (up from 34.4). “The best thing about (Game 7) is we’re at home,” Deng told reporters. “We gave ourselves another chance to fight. We have to come out with a lot of energy. It’s going to be a great game. I’m glad we’re home.”
1. Williams combined to go 12-of-19 from the floor in Games 3 and 5 but is 1-of-29 in the other four games in the series.
2. Walker’s Game 6 effort marked the second highest-scoring playoff performance in franchise history behind Glen Rice’s 39 points on April 26, 1996.
3. Wade had not hit a 3-pointer since Dec. 16 before burying two on Friday.MORE NEWS: 'We Are Not Entertaining Any Such Idea': M-DCPS Does Not Support Idea Of Building UM Football Stadium On Site Of Gables High
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