The Hornets showed a lot of toughness and determination without LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, Mason Plumlee, and Jalen McDaniels – beating the Atlanta Hawks 130-127. Charlotte was led by Miles Bridges and Kelly Oubre who combined for 60 points. Charlotte played a clean game, only turning the ball over six times. Let’s look at some observations from the Hornets’ win.
Efficiency from 3:
Charlotte was able to match Atlanta from the 3-point line. Both teams shot 17-37 from behind the arc. Considering Charlotte was without LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier, matching Atlanta from the 3-point line was a huge win for Charlotte.
Ish Smith and Cody Martin Step Up:
Ish Smith showed what a true vet is made of. Despite falling out of the rotation, Ish was ready when his number was called – scoring 18 points in 32 minutes. Cody Martin played one of his best games in a Hornets uniform, finishing with 19 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and was a +22 when he was on the floor. The Hornets will need these two players to step up while LaMelo and Terry are out.
Miles Bridges Continues to Elevate his Play:
Miles Bridges came through when the Hornets needed him the most, scoring 13 of his 32 points in the 4th quarter. Miles is playing like an all-star and a leading candidate for most improved player. This strong play will need to continue this week. Bridges is averaging 20 points and seven rebounds on the season, and is looking at getting a big pay day this offseason.
Kelly Oubre Continues to Prove his Worth:
Kelly Oubre has quietly been one of the better free agent signings of this past off-season. Oubre has been everything the Hornets wanted, whether it is filling in the starting lineup when guys are out or being the linch pin off the bench. Oubre is averaging nearly 16 points a game on 46% shooting from the floor, including 39% from three.
The Hornets return home to take on the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night as they continue to navigate this week without four key players.