CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nicolas Batum had 16 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists, providing a spark during a big third quarter that carried the Charlotte Hornets to a 91-82 victory over the Miami Heat on Thursday night.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 22 points. The Hornets improved to 19-14, and have won five of their last six games.

The Hornets outscored the Heat 31-17 in the quarter to take command, with Batum contributing nine points, five rebounds and four assists in the period.

Josh Richardson led Miami with 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting. The Heat fell to 10-23.

The Hornets’ third-quarter dominance has become habit. One night earlier, they outscored the Orlando Magic 35-13 in the period to grab a lead they held until the end.

NOTES

BULLS: Chicago waived guard R.J. Hunter, who signed on Oct. 27. He appeared in three games and played a total of nine minutes.

The Bulls’ roster stands at 14 players with the move.

WEDNESDAY’S LATE GAME

WARRIORS 121, RAPTORS 111: The Golden State Warriors played one of their most dominant quarters to start the game, building a 25-point lead. Then, there were turnovers and second chances for Toronto and they had to hold off the Raptors at the end.

Kevin Durant had 22 points, matched his season best with 17 rebounds, and added seven assists and five blocks as the Warriors beat the Raptors late Wednesday night.

Stephen Curry added 28 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, and Klay Thompson scored 21 points for Golden State, which showed that if you make these Warriors a little mad one game, they might just play far better the next.

They did just that, for a stretch.

“We’re still getting wins,” Thompson said. “That’s all that matters.”

Upset with themselves for blowing a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter to lose 109-108 at Cleveland in an NBA Finals rematch on Christmas Day, they took it out on Toronto three days later.

DeMar DeRozan scored 29 points and became Toronto’s career scoring leader (10,290), passing Chris Bosh’s 10,275 points, but the Raptors had their franchise-record, seven-game road winning streak snapped.


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