95 - 109 Final
  for this game

Heat use big third quarter to down Hornets

Jan 31, 2012 - 5:30 AM Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Every so often, a poor team can catch an elite team looking past it and steal a win.

Monday was not one of those occasions at American Airlines Arena.

LeBron James finished two assists shy of a triple-double with 22 points, 11 rebounds and eight helpers, and Dwyane Wade netted 22 points to go with five assists as the Miami Heat took care of business against a struggling New Orleans Hornets team with a 109-95 win.

Mike Miller finished with 14 points of 6-of-8 shooting, while Norris Cole and Chris Bosh had 12 points each for the Heat, who have won five straight and eight of their last nine.

Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry led the Hornets with 14 points apiece and Emeka Okafor added 13 in defeat. Greivis Vasquez netted 11 for New Orleans, which has now lost 11 of its last 12 games.

New Orleans got off to an incredibly hot start, knocking down 10 of their first 11 shots to lead 23-15 with 4:25 to play in the opening 12 minutes.

The Hornets led by as many as eight in the frame, but Miami stayed close and a layup by Cole with 0.6 seconds remaining cut the deficit to 29-27.

New Orleans opened the second quarter with an 16-6 burst to go ahead 45-33 with 5:46 to play before halftime.

But Miami answered with a 15-2 run to take a 48-47 lead with 2:41 to play before halftime. Wade netted 13 points during the run and capped it with a pair of free throws.

"It was good to have that energy burst. We were down 12 and we kind of needed it," Bosh said of Wade's quarter.

The Heat shot 56 percent in the quarter and led 51-49 at the break.

Miami kept the pressure on in the third quarter, scoring the first nine points of the frame to extend its lead to 60-49 early in the quarter.

James finished with 14 of his 22 points in the quarter and the Heat took a comfortable 87-68 margin into the fourth.

With Wade and James both on the bench for the duration of the fourth quarter, New Orleans played hard and outscored the Heat, 27-22, but the deficit was too large for it to make a full comeback.

"Tough game," Hornets head coach Monty Williams said. "In one sense we played really hard, in the other sense, we just didn't have the third quarter energy to match what they brought to the table."

Game Notes

Monday marked the first meeting of the season between the teams. They split two games last season, with each team holding home court...Hornets center Chris Kaman was not with the team because the Hornets are looking to trade him...Wade netted 15 points in the second quarter, his highest total for one quarter this season...New Orleans has not won a game this season when trailing at halftime...The Heat shot 55 percent from the floor and 6-of-15 from three- point range, while the Hornets shot 53 percent from the field and 4-of-13 from beyond the arc...Miami got the better of the play on the glass, outrebounding New Orleans, 39-25.