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Five-man weave allows Heat to hold off Hornets 116-114

This was evening validation of Erik Spoelstra’s morning mandate.

Asked at the Miami Heat’s shootaround about not only again being without starters Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro and Haywood Highsmith, but also about Kyle Lowry waking with back spasms, the Heat coach instead spoke of how playing the right way can cure most ills.

It did – barely – Monday night against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center, with the shorthanded Heat pushing to a 116-114 victory.

Against a Hornets roster lacking sidelined LaMelo Ball, Cody Martin and Mark Williams, the Heat got five significant contributions to avoid nearly blowing a 14-point lead.

There were 24 points from Duncan Robinson, 23 from Jimmy Butler, 20 from Caleb Martin, 19 from Kevin Love and 18 from Jaime Jaquez Jr.

“We didn’t make it easy on ourselves,” Robinson said, “but a win’s a win.”

The game was decided when Charlotte’s Terry Rozier was off on a 44-foot 3-point heave just before the final buzzer.

The Hornets were led by Rozier’s 34 points.

The teams now will do it again Wednesday night, in a rematch at Kaseya Center at the start of a four-game homestand.

Five Degrees of Heat from Monday  night’s game:

1. Closing time: The Heat went up nine early and led 29-24 at the end of the first period and then used an 8-2 run at the end of the second period to take a 59-50 lead into the intermission. Eighteen of the Heat’s 19 first-half baskets were assisted.

Butler then turned to his offense in his 13-point third quarter, with the Heat taking an 89-77 lead into the fourth, with the Heat with 27 assists on their 29 baskets over the opening 36 minutes.

But with Charlotte opening the fourth with a 7-0 run, the lead was down to 89-84 with 10:02 to play, and then down to 96-95 with 6:51, when Butler returned after a Heat timeout.

Then, with 4:36, Lowry converted his lone basket of the night, a 3-pointer to put the Heat up 103-99, with Duncan Robinson later drawing a three-shot foul and putting the Heat ahead 106-102 with 4:11 to play.

Later, a Butler 3-point play with 2:55 to play put the Heat up 109-102, with a Love 3-pointer with 2:15 to play putting the Heat up 112-105.

And, still, it wasn’t over, with a P.J. Washington 3-pointer drawing the Hornets with 112-108 with 1:56 to play.

Then, a Rozier 3-pointer drew Charlotte within 114-111, leading to a Hornets timeout down three with 15.6 in the wake of a pair of Butler turnovers.

Rozier went to the line with 12.3 seconds to play, converted a free throw to make it 114-112, but then committed a lane violation as he intentionally missed the second foul shot.

Martin then was sent to the line with 9.8 seconds to play, making only the second free throw, for a 115-112 lead.

Charlotte’s final timeout followed, with the Heat then intentionally fouling Rozier with 9.1 seconds left, to avoid a potential tying 3-point attempt. He made both, leading to the Heat’s final timeout, up 115-114.

Butler then missed the first of his two free throws and made the second, with the game ending on Rozer’s missed potential game-winning 3-point attempt.

2. Lowry perseveres: Listed as questionable earlier in the day with back spasms, Lowry was announced as available an hour before the opening tip, having yet to miss a game this season due to injury.

That had the Heat – in the continued absences of Adebayo, Herro and Highsmith – opening with Butler, Lowry, Martin, Duncan Robinson and Orlando Robinson.

Spoelstra again kept the rotation tight, with Josh Richardson, Jaquez and Love the reserves in what mostly was an eight-man rotation.

Lowry closed 1 of 6 from the field, with five assists and five rebounds.

3. Robinson again: Orlando Robinson made his fourth consecutive start, converting his first 3-point attempt to move to 7 of 8 from beyond the arc on the season, before missing his second.

This time, there also were minutes for center Thomas Bryant, the free agent signed in the offseason who had not played in eight of the previous 11 games, Bryant”s four-minute second-period stint was largely nondescript.

Orlando Robinson closed with seven points and six rebounds.

4. Robinson, too: Coming off a forgettable game in Friday night’s loss to the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers, when he was 0 for 7 from the field, including 0 for 6 on 3-pointers, Duncan Robinson this time converted a pair of first-half 3-pointers and kept going from there

Robinson was up to eight points and six rebounds at halftime, part of a variety of early complementary contributions, including 14 first-half points apiece from Martin and Jaquez.

It was the eighth game this season Duncan Robinson converted at least four 3-pointers.

He closed 8 of 14 from the field and 5 of 9 on 3-pointers.

5. As needed: Butler played largely as facilitator in the first half, with six assists and six points, particularly adept at finding Jaquez on cuts.

Butler then scored 11 points in the first 5:16 of the third period to get his offense going, the eighth time this season he has scored in double figures in a third period.

He then returned to help close it out.

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