What a weekend for Charlotte sports. With the return of Cam Newton and the Panthers dominating the Arizona Cardinals, all eyes were on the Hornets to see if they could cap off this weekend with win over the NBA’s best team – the Golden State Warriors. The Charlotte Hornets delivered with a 106-102 win. It took a great team effort with LaMelo Ball starting off the game strong, Miles Bridges being steady and Terry Rozier helping close the Warriors out. Let’s look at some key takeaways from the Hornets big win.
Better in the 1st quarter:
The Hornets have had a bad habit of starting off 1st quarters slowly, but were able to hold the Warriors to under 30 points in the 1st quarter. LaMelo Ball got off to a sizzling start with 15 first quarter points, including four 3-pointers. LaMelo set the tone early and didn’t let the Hornets start off in a hole that they would have to climb out of.
Defense on Steph Curry:
Steph Curry has been on fire and is the MVP front runner so far along this season with Kevin Durant. Tonight, the Hornets did a great job defensively and Steph missed a few good looks. Curry was only 7-22 from the floor and 3-13 from 3. The Hornets also did a better job defensively on Jordan Poole, who torched the Hornets in their first meeting – holding him to 4-12 shooting. The Hornets held the Warriors to 9-39 shooting from 3 for the game. You will take that any night vs this Warriors team.
Scary Terry Shows up in 2nd half:
Terry Rozier got off to a slow start in the 1st half, but he definitely came through in the 2nd half. Rozier scored all 20 of his points after halftime – shooting an efficient 7-10 from the floor and 3-5 from 3. He was able to beat Draymond on a jump ball then hit two clutch free throws to seal the game. The Hornets needed all 20 of Terry’s points as LaMelo was frustrated by the Warriors’ defense in the 2nd half.
The Hornets have had trouble closing out games throughout the season, but were able to get it done against the Knicks and the Warriors. This is a step in the right direction for a young team that is trying to take the next step. Charlotte has played one of the hardest schedules in the NBA so far, including playing only 6 of their 15 games at home. Starting off this four-game home stand with two wins is very important for this team. At the conclusion of this home stand against the Wizards and Pacers, the Hornets will play 7 of their next 8 games on the road.