NBA: Heat rout Hornets in Game 1

Miami Heat forward Luol Deng (right) attacking the paint against Charlotte Hornets guard Courtney Lee during their first-round NBA playoff game on April 17, 2016.
Miami Heat forward Luol Deng (right) attacking the paint against Charlotte Hornets guard Courtney Lee during their first-round NBA playoff game on April 17, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

(REUTERS) - Luol Deng scored 31 points as the Miami Heat routed the Charlotte Hornets 123-91 in Game 1 of their first-round play-off series on Sunday.

Deng shot 11-of-13 from the field and 5-of-7 from three-point range in his first post-season appearance for the Heat, who never trailed and built a double-digit lead midway through the first quarter.

Hassan Whiteside finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds in his play-off debut. Whiteside shot 9-of-11 from the field and blocked three shots.

Dwyane Wade scored 16 points and Goran Dragic had 10 assists in his Miami play-off debut. Amar'e Stoudemire and Joe Johnson were Miami's other double-figure scorers with 11 points each.

The Heat tied a team play-off record for points in a quarter by taking a 41-22 lead at the end of the first period. The previous high was set against New Jersey in May 10, 2006.

Deng scored 14 points in the quarter and Whiteside added 10 points leading Miami to their 19-point advantage. Whiteside's hook shot with 4min42sec left gave the Heat their first double-digit lead at 23-13. Deng was 3-for-3 on three-pointers in the period and Josh Richardson's conversion from beyond the arc with 44 seconds left increased Miami's advantage to 39-20.

The Hornets avoided a larger first-half deficit as they converted 21-of-28 free throws.

Nicolas Batum scored 24 points and Kemba Walker finished with 19 points for Charlotte.

Unlike the Heat's regular-season finale at Boston on Wednesday, when they squandered a 24-point half-time lead and lost by double digits, Miami built a 17-point advantage at half-time and ran off seven unanswered points to start the second half.

Deng scored five points during the early second-half spurt and his lay-up 2:23 into the second half gave Miami a 74-50 lead.

Game 2 will be played on Wednesday night at Miami before the series shifts to Charlotte for games three and four on Saturday and April 25.