After winning eight out of their last nine games the Charlotte Hornets suffered a head-scratching loss to the previously two-win Houston Rockets, 146-143 in overtime. The Hornets’ defense was pathetic against the Rockets – giving up 43 points in the 1st quarter. This has been an issue, at times, with the Hornets as they start games off slow defensively. The Rockets played with confidence the rest of the game, and when it seemed like the Hornets would take control, the Rockets had answers. Even though Charlotte was playing a back-to-back, these are the type of games the Hornets must win if they want to continue to take a leap to the next level. Let’s look at some observations from this game.
Christian Wood Dominates Hornets in the Paint:
Rockets center Christian Wood had his way with the Hornets scoring a career 33 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. The former Hornet/Greensboro Swarm member helped Houston win the battle on the glass and points in the paint. When the Hornets defense collapsed on Wood it led to the Rockets shooting 47% from the three and making 23 from deep.
Terry Rozier Continues Strong Play:
Scary Terry continues his strong play after bouncing back from his ankle sprain – scoring 31 points and five assists. Rozier this week has scored 32,27,15, and 31 points. In his last ten games Rozier has averaged 19 points per game on shooting splits of 46% from the floor, 39% from three, and 81% from the foul line.
LaMelo Stuffs the Stat Sheet:
Hornets wasted a triple double effort from Ball. LaMelo scored 19 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had 13 assists. In his last 10 games LaMelo is averaging 18 points, nine assists, and nine rebounds. Despite the loss to the Rockets the Hornets have won eight out their last ten and that can be attributed to both LaMelo’s and Terry’s strong play in the backcourt.
What’s Next for the Hornets:
The Hornets losing to the Rockets was a missed opportunity, because the upcoming schedule this week is tough. Charlotte has road games at Chicago, at Milwaukee, and at Atlanta before returning home for a two-game home stand vs Philly on December 6th and 8th. Philly had both Joel Embiid, who scored 42 points and 14 rebounds in his return, and Tobias Harris return to the lineup as they look to return to full strength. Charlotte will have to clean up things on the defensive end as the next five games are tough