Miami Heat going with same starting five from season opener in home opener vs. Charlotte

 

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will start the same five that helped the Heat defeat Orlando on Wednesday.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra will start the same five that helped the Heat defeat Orlando on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

MIAMI – Erik Spoelstra is sticking with the same starting lineup that helped the Heat run the Magic out of the arena in the season opener.

Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters, Justise Winslow, Luke Babbitt and Hassan Whiteside will start Miami’s home opener tonight against the Charlotte Hornets.

Those five plus a very productive bench led by guard Tyler Johnson keyed a 108-96 victory Wednesday at the Magic. Whiteside led Miami with 18 points and 14 rebounds. The Heat scored 74 points on the paint and held Orlando to 38.6 percent shooting.

“You can already see because he’s such a great coach, their personnel is different but they always defend,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said about Spoelstra. “They always play to the strengths of their best players. They do it different ways. They do it with their cuts, they do it with their rolls and they do it just driving the ball.”

The Hornets opened the season Wednesday with a 107-96 victory at Milwaukee. The two teams met in the first round of last year’s playoffs with the Heat winning a seven-game series.

Miami has won 12 of the last 13 games against Charlotte at AmericanAirlines Arena and 20-of-24 overall.

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