With LeBron James and Dwyane Wade sitting once again, Mike Miller stepped up with a season-high 26 points and the Miami Heat took an 89-79 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Friday.
The bulk of Miller's points came on 3-pointers, converting 7-of-11 from beyond the arc. Chris Bosh had a well-rounded game with 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Miami, which was without James and Wade for the third straight game.
Ray Allen also missed the contest for the Heat with a sprained ankle. Rashard Lewis posted 14 points in the triumph.
The Bobcats, losers in four of their last five, were led by Michael Kidd- Gilchrist's 18 points and 14 rebounds. Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson scored 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the setback.
"I thought we played really, really hard," said Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap. "We played a clean game, played an efficient game, sometimes its just hard to explain."
The Heat were plagued by turnovers all game, committing 21 for the contest and 10 in the first half, but were able to overcome the mistakes by nailing 10- of-22 from long distance in the first half and held a 48-45 lead at the break.
Miller was responsible for half of Miami's six 3-pointers in the first quarter, and after back-to-back triples from Norris Cole and James Jones early in the second, the Heat had a 34-25 lead.
"I was being agressive, fortunately I made some," said Miller.
Charlotte reduced the deficit to three after forcing the Heat into turnovers on three straight possessions, and later jumped ahead 45-43 on a Josh McRoberts jumper with 1:48 left in the half.
Miami, though, scored the last five points of the period, with a 3-pointer from Lewis putting them back in front before a driving score from Miller sent the Heat into the break with a three-point edge.
It was an ugly third quarter for both teams, but especially brutal for the Bobcats, who scored just eight points on 3-of-18 shooting.
The Heat also had their struggles, managing only two field goals over the last eight minutes of the stanza, but a 9-0 surge early in the period helped create some separation and they commanded a 13-point lead heading into the fourth.
Jannero Pargo twice got the Bobcats deficit to single-digits with scores, but Miller answered both times with 3-pointers, with his seventh of the game staking the Heat to an 80-68 advantage with 3:43 left.
An ensuing 6-0 Charlotte spurt cut Miami's lead in half, but it never came closer and the Heat clinched the victory with free throws down the stretch.
It was the first time Miller cracked the 20-point plateau since dropping 23 in Game 5 of Miami's 2012 NBA Finals series clinching victory ... The Heat have beaten the Bobcats 12 times in a row ... Charlotte was just 3-for-16 from 3- point range ... Miami's Mario Chalmers returned after missing three games with an ankle injury. He had six points and seven assists.