MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Heat finally beat the Hornets.
Ever since the then-Charlotte Hornets swept the Heat from the
playoffs in 2001, Miami has been unable to win a game against its
fellow 1988 expansion member.
The streak ended at 10 Tuesday night, with Eddie Jones and Brian
Grant each hitting two free throws in the final 15 seconds to help
the Heat beat New Orleans 91-87.
The victory was the Heat's first over the Hornets since April
2001, also breaking a seven-game regular-season losing streak.
"It especially feels good to beat the Hornets because they've
had our number ever since I got here," Grant said. "It's been a
while. It's a good start for this team."
Grant and Jones are the only two Heat players who have endured
the entire streak.
"I'm just happy to get a win, I don't care who it is against,"
said Jones, who was acquired from the Hornets in a trade that sent
Jamal Mashburn and P.J. Brown to the Hornets before the 2000-01
Lamar Odom's 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:21
remaining put Miami ahead for good at 87-85.
New Orleans had two opportunities at cutting Miami's lead, but
George Lynch missed a baseline 3-pointer with 51 seconds left and
Grant blocked Brown's shot with 18 seconds remaining.
"I thought I was fouled but at that point in the game they are
not going to call it," Brown said. "It was a good play by the
Heat. They played hard tonight and we waited too long to play
Jones led the Heat with 25 points, and Odom added 19. Baron
Davis scored 28 points for the Hornets.
"Every step this team takes is great, the main thing is we're
making progress in a lot of areas," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy
Brown's baseline jumper with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter
gave New Orleans an 85-84 lead before Odom's winning shot.
"This is something we need to do, defend our home court," Odom
said. "They're one of the best teams in the league, and beating
them on your home court gives you some confidence."
The Heat were coming off a 1-4 West Coast trip.
"It's a step in the right direction," Jones said. "I love the
way we closed them out. We went down one and kept fighting. We went
down the stretch and made our foul shots."
Davis' short jumper with 6:15 remaining in the fourth quarter
put New Orleans ahead 78-77, its first lead since 26-25. The teams
then exchanged the lead eight times.
Miami shot a season-best 55 percent from the field in the
first half. ... Miami forward Caron Butler watched the game in
street clothes, sitting out the game because of a left quadriceps
injury. ... The Heat hired Brian Hecker as scouting information
coordinator. He is a former assistant coach at the University of
Houston and University of Wisconsin.