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An eventful Heat night: Hornets routed 104-87, Wade to get statue, Jaquez lost to injury

MIAMI – Dwyane Wade can have good things. The Miami Heat made that clear Sunday, announcing the franchise icon next fall will become the team’s first player to have a statue in front of Kaseya Center, a halftime announcement by Heat President Pat Riley that brought Wade to tears.

But in this injury-ravaged season, the Heat on Sunday also had to deal with the reality that even in victory, adversity remains front and center.

Already playing in the injury absences of Jimmy Butler and Kevin Love, the Heat lost rookie guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. with a strained left groin for the second half of Sunday night’s 104-87 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.

While the victory closed out a 3-1 homestand, the concern now is with Jaquez, who missed two weeks with a similar injury during the preseason,

As for Sunday night’s victory, the Heat went up 24 in the second quarter and nursed the lead to the finish, with Butler out again with a toe injury and Love sitting out with a knee bruise.

After Jaquez helped set the tone with a 15-point first quarter, Tyler Herro helped picked up the Heat scoring from there, closing with 21 points. The Heat also got 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists from Bam Adebayo and 19 points Duncan Robinson.

The Heat next head out for a two-game trip, at the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night to close out this back-to-back set, and then Wednesday night against the Toronto Raptors.

For the Heat it truly was a night of contrasts, from losing Jaquez to Wade’s tears of joy.

“It’s not something I dreamed of,” Wade said of his statue, “but it’s something I definitely grew up knowing about. Michael Jordan had a statue in Chicago. That was the first statue I’ve ever seen, so to be able to be at this point in my life where I know that the same feeling I had when Jordan had his statue is the same feeling that young kids will have coming, getting an opportunity to visit mine, families will have, being able to create memories and moments.”

Five Degrees of Heat from Sunday night’s game:

1. Game flow: The Heat led 26-16 at the end of the first quarter and 52-31 at halftime.

The 31 points was the lowest-scoring half in the NBA this season, with the total also the lowest scoring total in a half against the Heat this season, with the previous low by a Heat opponent a 37-point second half by the Raptors.

The Hornets shot 13 of 46 from the field in the first half, including 1 of 18.

The Raptors then closed within 11 in the third quarter, before the Heat went into the fourth up 77-61.

Charlotte also got back within 11 early in the fourth, before the Heat again pushed their lead into the 20s.

2. In and out: While the Heat got Kyle Lowry back from his two-game injury absence with a sprained left hand and Herro from the strained right shoulder that kept him out in Friday night’s victory over the Orlando Magic, the Heat were without Butler and Love.

Lowry closed scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting in 26 minutes.

Butler, who has now missed seven consecutive games with what the team has been listing as a right-toe MP joint sprain, worked five-on-five over the weekend and is expected to return Monday.

Butler has played only once since Dec. 18, then missing four consecutive games with a strained left calf.

3. Still Nikola: It is beginning to look more and more as if Nikola Jovic might be more than just an injury replacement as the Heat’s starting power forward.

Even with Caleb Martin and Haywood Highsmith available, Jovic made his sixth consecutive start, in an opening lineup rounded out by Adebayo, Herro, Lowry and Jaquez, who again started in place of Butler.

It was the fifth time the Heat have opened with that lineup, after unveiling their 21st starting lineup of the season on Friday night.

With Love out, Jovic moved to point center when Adebayo went out in the first quarter.

4. Then Jaquez: Jaquez had 13 of the Heat’s first 17 points, often leaking out on Hornets shots for hit-ahead passes.

Jaquez shot 7 of 10 in the first quarter, with 15 points in the period, with the rest of the Heat 4 of 15 over the 12 minutes. It was the highest scoring quarter of the rookie’s career.

But then, at halftime, the Heat announced Jaquez was lost for the night.

Jaquez had been the only Heat player to appear in each of the first 39 games, with everyone else on the roster having missed at least two games.

5. Banner week: The Heat honored Wade at halftime for his induction this past summer into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Wade’s retired No. 3 banner, which features a Hall of Fame acknowledgment, was spotlighted before the game and halftime, as the Heat otherwise only do with their three NBA championship banners.

On Friday, the Heat will honor former Wade teammate Udonis Haslem by raising Haslem’s No. 40 to the rafters.

Wade addressed the crowd at halftime,

“When I look up there, I think of so many of the memories,” Wade told the crowd at halftime. “So this is for us.”

Wade called Sunday, “a beautiful day to come back and celebrate what we accomplished.”