After two deflating defeats in Miami, the Hornets fed off their home crowd to trim the deficit in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference first-round series to 2-1.
In the late game Saturday, Damian Lillard scored a game high 32 points as the Portland Trail Blazers beat Los Angeles 96-88 to cut the Clippers lead in the series to 2-1.
The Hornets led by five points at halftime, and held the Heat scoreless for almost seven minutes in an 18-0 scoring run in the third quarter that built their lead to 71-53.
The cushion grew to as many as 24 points in the fourth quarter as six Charlotte players finished in double figures.
It was a complete reversal from the Heat’s 106-80 home win in game one and a 115-103 win in game two.
In Dallas, the Oklahoma City Thunder moved another step closer to reaching the second round of the playoffs with a wire-to-wire 119-108 win over the Mavericks.
Oklahoma City has not trailed since its game two loss and it now has a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with game five set for Monday.
History is against a Dallas’ comeback in the series as only nine teams in NBA have rallied to win a best-of-seven playoff series after trailing 3-1.
Russell Westbrook had 25 points and 15 assists, and Kevin Durant finished with 19 points.
In Indianapolis, French centre Ian Mahinmi scored 22 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and handed out five assists to help the Indiana Pacers to a 100-83 series-tying win over Toronto.
George Hill added 22 points for the Pacers, which knotted the Eastern Conference set at two games apiece.
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