The Miami Heat are one loss from elimination after falling 90-88 to the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
With roughly 20 seconds to go, Miami had the ball in Dwayne Wade's hands. The All-Star would go to the basket, but no foul was called despite some apparent contact. With 2.6 seconds left, the Hornets took over possession of the ball. Charlotte would go on to win when the Heat did not foul the Hornets as the clock ran out.
Charlotte took a two-point lead into the locker room at the half. Both teams had solid runs during the first two quarters and exchanged the lead multiple times. Entering this one, Charlotte had not led in Miami for a second in the series.
After being dominated in the first two games of the series, the Hornets looked much better in this one. Coming off two wins in a row at home, Charlotte appeared more confident despite playing on the road.
Miami would outscore Charlotte by eight points in the third quarter to take a six-point lead into the fourth. In that final quarter, the teams exchanged baskets and stayed close all the way to the end.
All five of Miami's starters reached double digits in points. This is something that happened multiple times down the final stretch of the season. The Heat are at their best when winning as a team with contributions from everyone. In this one, the effort just fell short however.
Dwyane Wade led Miami with 25 points and also added four assists with five rebounds. Wade turned the ball over five times, but did plenty of positive things when he maintained possession.
Joe Johnson had a solid game himself with 13 points and two steals. Miami was +13 with Johnson on the court which was easily the best number on the Heat.
The teams will head back to Charlotte for the sixth game of the series on Friday with a start time to be announced.