Hornets push Heat to the brink with Game Five win

Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:37am EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - Courtney Lee did it again. From virtually the same spot on the floor and for the second game in a row, Lee grabbed a crucial long rebound off the offensive boards.

This time, Lee went back up and drained a 3-pointer with 28.9 seconds left, leading the Charlotte Hornets to a 90-88 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Lee also had a key block on Heat guard Dwyane Wade with 2.6 seconds left. But Lee's heroics started with his rebound.

"I guess his anticipation," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said when asked how the 6-5 Lee grabbed the biggest boards two games in a row. "He's a terrific athlete, and he has good timing."

Thanks in large measure to Lee, the Hornets, who have won three straight games, have a 3-2 lead over Miami in their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.

Charlotte can end the best-of-seven series with a win at home on Friday.

Miami, who have won 21 of their past 28 playoff series, still have a shot but the Heat will likely have to play better in the clutch to advance.

The Heat led 88-87 in Wednesday's final minute. Hornets guard Kemba Walker missed a jumper, and that is when Lee swooped in. He not only grabbed the rebound, he also made the shot even though he was only 1-of-8 from the floor at the time.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he noticed Lee was in "the deep corner" of the court when the key sequence began.   Continued...

 
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (left) yells at referee Kane Fitzgerald (right) during the second half in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Charlotte Hornets at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports