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Third-quarter dominance leads Hornets past Heat, 91-82

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Nicolas Batum isn't sure what has been happening in third quarters lately for his Charlotte Hornets, though he'd like to bottle it up for whenever it's needed.

''We're just really good,'' Batum said. ''If we could start the game the same way we start the third quarter, we'd be a really, really good team.''

Thanks to another dominating third quarter Thursday night, Charlotte beat the Miami Heat 91-82.

Batum had 16 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, and sparked the Hornets with nine points, five rebounds and four assists in the third period, when they outscored Miami 31-17.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 22 points on 8-for-20 shooting. The Hornets improved to 19-14, and have won five of their last six games.

Josh Richardson led Miami with 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting. The Heat fell to 10-23.

The Hornets' third-quarter dominance has become habit. One night earlier, they outscored the Orlando Magic 35-13 in the period to grab a lead they held onto until the end.

Charlotte began the third with an 8-0 run and never relented. Though they shot 38.7 percent overall, the Hornets connected on 13-of-23 attempts (56.5 percent) in the third.

''I have no idea (why),'' Hornets coach Steve Clifford said of his team's third-quarter performances.

Clifford is more concerned with Charlotte's fourth-quarter defense. Limiting the Heat to 16 fourth-quarter points was a major victory in Clifford's eyes.

''It's been a problem, and tonight it was much better,'' he said.

Miami, meanwhile, is struggling to find its footing overall and used its 12th different starting lineup of the season. The Heat had 17 turnovers, which led to 21 points for the Hornets.

''We just weren't coherent, didn't get organized and made some sloppy turnovers and we paid the price for it,'' Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Richardson seemed to have a breakthrough when he had 13 points in the second quarter on 5-for-7 shooting to lead the Heat to a 49-42 halftime edge. Miami outscored Charlotte 13-6 in the final 4:15 of the quarter, a span that included eight points, including two 3-pointers, from Richardson.

Richardson was just two points shy of his career high of 22 points set earlier this season.

Hassan Whiteside, from nearby Gastonia, North Carolina, had eight points and 10 rebounds for Miami. Justise Winslow had one point and did not sink any of his nine field goal attempts.

''The ball wasn't going for me but I tried to defend, rebound and make plays for other guys,'' Winslow said. ''When your shot's not falling, you try to still make an impact on the game. It was just one of those nights.''

TIP-INS:

Heat: Goran Dragic started, although he had been questionable with lower back spasms. He missed Tuesday's game against Oklahoma City. ''Goran probably shouldn't have been out there,'' Spoelstra said. ''But he wanted to be out there for his team. He was probably about 50-60 percent.'' ... Miami's 10-22 record after 32 games is the worst for the franchise since the Heat began 2007-08 with 24 losses in that same span. The Heat lost 67 games that season.

Hornets: Walker recorded his 7,000th point with the Charlotte franchise when he hit a 3-pointer with 4:16 left in the first quarter. Walker is the fourth player in franchise history to reach that mark, and became the second-quickest by doing so in his 396th game. Larry Johnson passed the mark in his 355th career game with the Hornets. ... Marco Belinelli missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle.

TRIPLE THREAT

Only Anthony Mason (seven) and Larry Johnson (five) have logged more career triple-doubles with the Hornets than Batum, who has three with Charlotte and seven in his career.

UP NEXT:

Heat: Travel to Boston on Friday.

Hornets: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers for a New Year's Eve tipoff Saturday.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
H. Whiteside
21 C
K. Walker
15 PG
33.3 Min. Per Game 33.3
22.3 Pts. Per Game 22.3
5.4 Ast. Per Game 5.4
3.9 Reb. Per Game 3.9
54.6 Field Goal % 45.6
Three Point % 40.9
54.1 Free Throw % 81.3
  Defensive rebound by Kemba Walker 0:01
  Goran Dragic missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:03
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:04
  Defensive rebound by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 0:29
  Josh Richardson missed jump shot 0:31
  20-second timeout called 0:33
+ 2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made jump shot, assist by Kemba Walker 0:35
  Bad pass turnover on Justise Winslow 0:55
  Defensive rebound by Josh Richardson 1:08
  Kemba Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot 1:10
  Defensive rebound by Nicolas Batum 1:30
Team Stats
Points 82 91
Field Goals 33-82 (40.2%) 36-93 (38.7%)
3-Pointers 10-28 (35.7%) 5-26 (19.2%)
Free Throws 6-13 (46.2%) 14-18 (77.8%)
Total Rebounds 56 61
Offensive 4 11
Defensive 42 43
Team 10 7
Assists 26 18
Steals 6 9
Blocks 10 9
Turnovers 17 9
Fouls 19 11
Technicals 0 0
18 PTS, 7 REB, 5 AST
16 PTS, 13 REB, 8 AST
1234T
away team logo Heat 10-23 1930171682
home team logo Hornets 19-14 2121311891
Team Stats
away team logo Heat 10-23 109.3 PPG 47.6 RPG 22.4 APG
home team logo Hornets 19-14 114.9 PPG 45 RPG 24.8 APG
Key Players
J. Richardson SG 20.4 PPG 4.0 RPG 3.3 APG 44.5 FG%
K. Walker PG 29.6 PPG 4.4 RPG 6.1 APG 46.5 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Richardson SG 20 PTS 4 REB 2 AST
K. Walker PG 22 PTS 7 REB 4 AST
40.2 FG% 38.7
35.7 3PT FG% 19.2
46.2 FT% 77.8
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Richardson 33 20 4 2 1 1 1 3 8/14 3/5 1/1 0 4 29 0
H. Whiteside 35 8 10 0 0 2 4 2 4/7 0/0 0/0 0 10 16 0
L. Babbitt 21 7 3 1 0 2 0 2 3/5 1/3 0/0 0 3 14 0
G. Dragic 32 5 3 8 1 0 4 3 2/11 0/4 1/2 0 3 21 0
J. Winslow 29 1 5 5 0 0 3 2 0/9 0/0 1/2 1 4 13 0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Richardson 33 20 4 2 1 1 1 3 8/14 3/5 1/1 0 4 29 0
H. Whiteside 35 8 10 0 0 2 4 2 4/7 0/0 0/0 0 10 16 0
L. Babbitt 21 7 3 1 0 2 0 2 3/5 1/3 0/0 0 3 14 0
G. Dragic 32 5 3 8 1 0 4 3 2/11 0/4 1/2 0 3 21 0
J. Winslow 29 1 5 5 0 0 3 2 0/9 0/0 1/2 1 4 13 0
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
T. Johnson 28 18 7 5 2 1 1 1 8/16 2/6 0/0 1 6 37 0
W. Ellington 17 12 2 1 0 0 0 1 4/10 4/9 0/0 0 2 16 0
J. Johnson 18 6 4 2 1 1 3 3 2/7 0/1 2/7 1 3 13 0
W. Reed 13 5 7 0 0 3 0 2 2/3 0/0 1/1 1 6 15 0
R. McGruder 14 0 1 2 1 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 6 0
J. McRoberts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Waiters - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Bosh - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
U. Haslem - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 240 82 46 26 6 10 17 19 33/82 10/28 6/13 4 42 180 0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Walker 36 22 7 4 1 0 1 1 8/20 4/10 2/2 0 7 37 0
N. Batum 36 16 13 8 3 1 3 0 7/17 0/5 2/3 3 10 46 0
M. Williams 25 13 1 2 1 0 0 1 6/12 1/4 0/0 0 1 19 0
C. Zeller 33 9 7 2 1 1 2 3 3/4 0/0 3/6 2 5 20 0
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 33 4 6 0 2 1 0 1 2/7 0/0 0/0 0 6 13 0
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Walker 36 22 7 4 1 0 1 1 8/20 4/10 2/2 0 7 37 0
N. Batum 36 16 13 8 3 1 3 0 7/17 0/5 2/3 3 10 46 0
M. Williams 25 13 1 2 1 0 0 1 6/12 1/4 0/0 0 1 19 0
C. Zeller 33 9 7 2 1 1 2 3 3/4 0/0 3/6 2 5 20 0
M. Kidd-Gilchrist 33 4 6 0 2 1 0 1 2/7 0/0 0/0 0 6 13 0
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
J. Lamb 23 10 8 0 0 1 0 1 4/10 0/1 2/2 0 8 19 0
R. Sessions 18 9 2 1 0 0 0 1 3/9 0/2 3/3 1 1 13 0
R. Hibbert 15 4 4 0 0 2 1 2 2/3 0/0 0/0 3 1 9 0
F. Kaminsky 19 4 6 1 1 3 1 1 1/11 0/4 2/2 2 4 15 0
M. Belinelli - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Hawes - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Roberts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Harrison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Graham - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Wood - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 238 91 54 18 9 9 9 11 36/93 5/26 14/18 11 43 191 0