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Hornets vs. Heat 2016 final score: Charlotte takes series lead with 90-88 win in Game 5

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Charlotte takes a 3-2 series lead.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets have taken control of their first-round series against the Miami Heat with a 90-88 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday night. Charlotte has now won three straight games to take a 3-2 series lead with Game 6 set for Friday night.

After three lopsided games to open the series, the past two have seen the Hornets and Heat in close battles. Game 5 went down to the wire and was not lacking in controversy thanks to a few interesting plays near the end of the fourth quarter.

The first came on a Courtney Lee layup attempt in the final minute that seemed to be a missed basket interference call by the referees. Dwyane Wade appeared to smack the backboard and dislodge Lee's shot, but referees aren't able to review that kind of call under league rules, so this didn't undergo any greater scrutiny despite being a very close, important call in a big game.

Lee eventually redeemed himself by hitting the game-winning three-pointer with 25 seconds left, then got into the action again on Miami's next possession. Wade had a chance to tie the game and possibly force overtime, but Lee blocked the shot and no foul was called. Wade was visibly upset with the officials afterward.

The Hornets went on to close out the game after one last bit of intrigue on an out-of-bounds call in the final seconds. The referees ruled that it was Charlotte's ball, however, and the team ran out the rest of the clock while the Heat looked less than thrilled by what had just happened.

It was a wild finish to the game, and after going up 2-0, you can see why the Heat are wondering how they got to this point.

Marvin Williams led the Hornets with 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, which was a welcomed performance for the veteran after some rough shooting nights earlier in the series. Wade had a game-high 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting.

Three more things we learned from Game 5:

Bad Kemba alternates with Good Kemba

The Hornets have leaned hard on their star point guard in this series and he's given them everything but consistency. Walker's five performances have alternated between stellar and not-so-great as he's tried to carry Charlotte offensively. In Game 5, Walker had just 14 points on 4-of-18 shooting, including several misses late in the fourth quarter. It's been that kind of series for Kemba:

Game 1: 19 points, 6-of-13 shooting
Game 2: 29 points, 12-of-29 shooting
Game 3: 17 points, 4-of-19 shooting
Game 4: 34 points, 13-of-28 shooting
Game 5: 14 points, 4-of-18 shooting

Walker deserves a ton of credit, especially for his monster effort in Game 4. He's taking over 21 shots per game in the playoffs, compared with about 16 shots per game in the regular season. The 25-year-old is doing his best to put the team on his shoulders. He's just not quite the kind of player who can do that every single night in the postseason.

Miami's old guys can still get up

Justise Winslow may be the future on the wing for the Heat, but let's not forget about the veterans just yet. In Game 5, 34-year-old Wade and 31-year-old Luol Deng each uncorked a huge dunk on the Hornets' defense, showing everyone that there's still some life in those legs amid the playoff atmosphere.

Wade's dunk was especially impressive considering it came as part of a dashing sprint to the basketball while being swarmed by Charlotte's defense. The Heat have had trouble consistently breaking down the Hornets' defense to get penetration in this series, but Wade showed on this play that aggressively pushing the ball in transition is one way to create an opportunity.


Charlotte's cold spell opened the door for Miami

One of the most crucial sequences in Game 5 came in the middle of the third quarter as the Hornets' offense slowed to a halt. Charlotte was leading, 57-52, after a Frank Kaminsky three-pointer, then proceeded to miss its next 11 shots as Miami went on a 10-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into a five-point lead.

This series has been full of streaky shooting, starting with Miami's ridiculous outbursts in the opening two games. Charlotte, on the other hand, has shown that it needs to slow down the pace, clog the paint and avoid a shootout if it wants to win.

So when the Hornets got stuck in a cold spell, it gave Miami the opportunity it needed to turn the game around. Charlotte managed to recover, however, by holding the Heat to just 17 points in the fourth quarter. Yet again in Game 5, the Hornets proved their defense is what will carry them this postseason.