The Charlotte Hornets scored 46 first quarter points and never looked back as they handled the San Antonio Spurs 131-115. The win came after a disappointing Monday night blowout against the Mavericks, but the Hornets were able to respond in a good way vs the Spurs. Even better news is that LaMelo Ball should be returning Friday in Portland after being assigned to the Greensboro Swarm to get some practice and conditioning in. Here are some observations from the Hornets’ win as they continue another road trip.
Gordon Leads the Way:
Gordon Hayward delivered his best performance of the season scoring 41 points on 15-19 shooting from the field, including drilling 5 three-pointers. Hayward could’ve had 50, but he didn’t play in the 4th quarter. This is the type of performance that fans want to see more often from Hayward, as too many times he doesn’t assert himself into the game. It was good to see he can still have this type of game, as the Hornets will need the 11-year veteran to be an example as they try to reach the playoffs this season. Having many of the players back in the rotation was huge for Hayward, as he only played 29 minutes after having to play 40+ minutes in most of the last five games.
Gordon Hayward wasn’t the only person cooking. Charlotte, as a team, was very efficient against the Spurs. The Hornets shot nearly 60% from the floor, 53% from three-point range, and had 34 assists. Miles Bridges scored 19 points on 8-12 shooting and chipped in eight rebounds and eight assists. Cody Martin scored 21 points and PJ Washington and Jalen McDaniels led the bench – with 12 points for PJ and 15 for McDaniels.
Charlotte has struggled, at times, starting games slow and having to fight out of holes, but that was different against the Spurs. Charlotte jumped out to a 25-13 lead in the first six minutes and never played from behind. It was the type of performance that Charlotte needed on the road, as they improved to 8-10 away from the Spectrum Center. Charlotte has played 18 of their first 30 games on the road and have four more road games before returning to Charlotte. Getting off to quick starts can help the Hornets navigate the rest of this road trip.
The Hornets will take on the Portland Trailblazers Friday, as LaMelo Ball is expected to return to the line up.