Malik Monk scored 32 points, Terry Rozier added 26 points and 11 assists and the host Charlotte Hornets earned a 110-105 win over the slumping Miami Heat on Friday night.
The Hornets, winners of three consecutive games, shot 62.5 percent from the floor in the first quarter and never trailed. Charlotte, up by as many as 30 points in the second quarter, hit 49.4 percent of its field-goal attempts for the game, including 18 of 43 (41.9 percent) from 3-point range.
Charlotte is now 18-0 when leading after three quarters.
Miami, which is on a season-worst, six-game losing streak, got Jimmy Butler back in the lineup. Butler, who missed one game due to a stomach ailment, had 20 points and nine assists.
Duncan Robinson also scored 20 points for Miami, which dominated the second half but never had the ball with a chance to tie the score late in the game.
Monk, who scored 36 points in an overtime win at Miami on Feb. 1, tortured the Heat once again. By halftime, he had 24 points in just 13 minutes of court time.
For the game, Monk made 12 of 17 shots, including 5 of 9 3-point attempts.
Adding to Miami’s misery, starting guard Kendrick Nunn rolled his right ankle in the second quarter when he got stepped on by Monk. Nunn, who scored 10 points, did not return.
That left the Heat which just nine available players for the second straight game. Most important, the Heat were without Goran Dragic (back spasms) and the duo of Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica, acquired in trades on Thursday but not yet activated.
Rozier made 3 of 4 from 3-point range and had 11 points in the first quarter, helping Charlotte establish a 40-23 lead.
Charlotte cooled off a bit in the second quarter but still stretched the lead to 72-49 at halftime.
Miami cut its deficit to 92-79 at the end of the third quarter. The Heat got as close as three points with 6.6 seconds left in the fourth, but Charlotte held on thanks to two big free throws by Devonte’ Graham.
Part of the blame for Miami in the loss goes to its free-throw shooting: 10-for-20.
–Field Level Media