In uptown Monday night, the Charlotte Hornets look to even their playoff series against the Miami Heat. The home team has won each game so far.
The Hornets snapped the second-longest losing streak in NBA playoff history with their win over the weekend. They had lost 12 straight since the original version of the Hornets last won a playoff game in 2002.
Head coach Steve Clifford said after the first two losses this postseason, the Hornets’ offense was good enough to win those games. On Saturday, he says their defense caught up.
"Our communication, our organization was so much better," he says. "Obviously, it’s a good win and it gives us a chance. If we can come back and play better in some areas Monday then we’ll have a chance to tie the series."
Clifford says rebounding is one of those key areas. Miami has outrebounded Charlotte in two of the first three games.
Guard Jeremy Lin says the team will look to feed off the energy of its home crowd again Monday night. He says the intensity and physicality of Saturday’s game were good reminders of what the Hornets style of basketball should be.
"I mean that’s huge, to be able to see that and build on that," Lin says. "We’ve got to just keep doing that and we can’t get comfortable because at the end of the day, if we don’t win game 4, that’s a serious, serious hole that we're going to be in."
The Hornets will again be without one of their best players. Nicolas Batum is out with a sprained left foot.
Monday night's tipoff is at 7:00 at Time Warner Cable Arena.