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Heat edge Hornets in overtime, Hawks hold off Sixers

The Miami Heat squandered a 15-point third-quarter lead but held on to beat Charlotte 117-112 in overtime on Thursday, handing the Hornets a seventh straight NBA defeat.

Jimmy Butler fueled the Heat with 35 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. Bam Adebayo added 18 points with 14 rebounds, but the Heat nearly let the game get away — as they had in recent losses to the Indiana Pacers and Portland Trail Blazers.

Despite the absence of injured Tyler Herro, the Heat built their lead to 15 points in the second quarter and again in the third.

They were up by 12 heading into the fourth, but the Hornets, who traveled to Miami overnight after a Wednesday home game, tied things up with a 12-0 scoring run.

They took the lead on a three-point play by Mason Plumlee with 6:50 remaining and led by as many as four before they went to overtime tied at 104-104.

Charlotte trailed by one with 14.8 seconds left in overtime when Kelly Oubre was called for traveling after receiving an inbounds pass.

Miami’s Gabe Vincent made two free-throws to push the advantage and Terry Rozier missed a three-pointer as the Hornets came up short.

Oubre led the Hornets with 29 points and Rozier added 22.

In Atlanta, the Hawks out-scored the Philadelphia 76ers 34-24 in the third quarter and led by as many as 20 in the fourth on the way to a 104-95 victory.

It wasn’t without drama, however, as the 76ers closed within six points with 2:06 remaining.

“We had a big lead and we got too relaxed and let them back in the game,” said Atlanta’s Trae Young, who led the Hawks with 26 points. “We’ve got to do a better job of closing out games.”

Clint Capella added 18 points and pulled down 20 rebounds for Atlanta while Joel Embiid produced a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds for the Sixers.

The Portland Trail Blazers continued to shine on the road despite the absence of star guard Damian Lillard, downing the Pelicans 106-95 in New Orleans.

Jerami Grant scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Blazers as Lillard, already  sidelined four games this season with a calf injury, again sat out a night after Portland’s victory at Charlotte.

“I knew I had to step up and do a lot more than I usually do,” said Grant, who also had four assists and four steals. “So I came out there and did what I could.”

Portland held the Pelicans to 41.8% shooting. Zion Williamson scored 29 points while former Trail Blazer CJ McCollum was just six-of-17 from the floor for 13 points.

Wizards top Mavs

In Washington, Kyle Kuzma scored 36 points to pace the short-handed Wizards in a 113-105 victory over the Dallas Mavericks.

With Bradley Beal sidelined by Covid protocols and Kristaps Porzingis nursing a groin strain, Kuzma helped the Wizards erase an early deficit and pull away for a convincing win.

Spencer Dinwiddie, the former Wizard who landed in Dallas in the trade that sent Porzingis to Washington, led the Mavs with 33 points as Luka Doncic connected on just eight of 21 shots on the way to 22 points.

Dallas led 80-78 late in the third quarter, but Kuzma and Rui Hachimura, who scored 23 points, caught fire as the Wizards went on a 21-6 scoring run to take control.

The Wizards reserves out-scored the Mavs bench 50-25 and Dallas dropped their second straight game.

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