Strus scores 31, Heat roll past sliding Hornets 132-115

MIAMI (AP) — Max Strus scored 31 points, making eight 3-pointers, and the Miami Heat spoiled LaMelo Ball’s return to the Charlotte lineup by beating the Hornets 132-115 on Saturday night.

Bam Adebayo had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Heat, who swept a two-game home series with the Hornets and got consecutive wins for only the second time this season. Charlotte lost its eighth straight, extending the longest current slide in the NBA.

Jimmy Butler had 20 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Miami, while Gabe Vincent scored 20 points. Miami outscored Charlotte 45-25 in the third quarter, tying the sixth-highest scoring quarter in any period in Heat history.

Ball finished with 15 points, six assists and six rebounds in 28 minutes, making his season debut after missing the first 13 games with a sprained ankle. He shot 6 of 17, 1 for 9 from 3-point range.

Terry Rozier led the Hornets with 22 points, while Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 20.

Charlotte led 59-54 late in the first half, and the next seven minutes were all Miami. The Heat outscored the Hornets 34-13 over that stretch, and Strus had 21 points in the second half.

Strus finished one point off his career high.

“I got it going early and teammates were looking for me,” Strus said.

TIP-INS

Hornets: Charlotte’s game at Orlando on Monday is the Hornets’ fourth, and last, in the state of Florida this season. ... The Hornets are 0-7 in November, the NBA’s only winless team this month. ... Nick Richards scored 15.

Heat: Tyler Herro (sprained left ankle) missed his third consecutive game. Victor Oladipo (left knee) and Omer Yurtseven (left ankle) are still out and have yet to play this season. ... Miami had four players score at least 20 for the first time since April 5 — also against Charlotte.

HONORING TIMMY

The Heat completed a weekend-long celebration of Tim Hardaway’s enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame, after a dinner attended by Pat Riley and others on Friday and a halftime on-court ceremony on Saturday. Hardaway is still Miami’s leader in 3-pointers (Duncan Robinson will likely pass him in the coming weeks) and second in assists. “It lets me know that I brought some joy to people’s lives,” Hardaway said, when asked how he enjoys reactions from fans now.

BUSY REFS

The Heat and Hornets had Friday off. Josh Tiven and Evan Scott, two of the referees on Saturday’s game, did not. Tiven worked a game in New York on Friday, while Scott worked a game in Orlando. It was Tiven’s third instance of officiating on back-to-back days this season, Scott’s first.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Visit Orlando on Monday.

Heat: Host Phoenix on Monday.

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Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press