The Charlotte Hornets came out flat vs the Brooklyn Nets and waited too long to play with energy. Brooklyn came out from the beginning of the game and imposed their will on the Hornets in a 132-121 win, where the final score shouldn’t have been that close. Kyrie Irving went Uncle Drew on the Hornets, scoring 50 points on 19 shots. Irving made nine threes – getting any shot he wanted.
Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges both scored 30 points for the Hornets, and LaMelo Ball finished with 24 points, seven assists and five rebounds in defeat. With the win the Brooklyn Nets moved back up to the 8th seed, while the Hornets drop to the 9 seed in the Eastern Conference. Here are some observations from the game:
Charlotte started the game with no juice. The first half was some of the worst basketball the Hornets have played all season. Sloppy turnovers, bad shot selection and poor defense, you name it the Hornets did it in the first half. Brooklyn was up 69-43 in the first half and would go up by as much as 32. Brooklyn shot 56% from the field and 51 % from 3. Their ball movement often had the Hornets’ defense scrambling on a night when Kevin Durant only scored 14 points on 6-13 shooting. The Hornets played with more energy in the second half, but by the time they woke up it was too late.
Jalen McDaniels Returns from Ankle injury:
Even though he only played eight minutes, it was nice to see Jalen McDaniels return and add another body in the Hornets’ thin rotation. It will be interesting to see if McDaniels can return to the level he played at during the first half of the season. Lately, Charlotte has had a lot of eight-man rotations which can tire guys out, so having McDaniels return gives Charlotte more depth down the stretch.
Another Tough Wednesday Night Game:
The Hornets play the Boston Celtics Wednesday night in a tough back-to-back. Boston has won 22 out of their last 30 games and has been the best team in the East since the calendar year turned to 2022. Charlotte played the Celtics tough this year – winning in Boston earlier this season. Even in the two losses, one was in overtime and the other came down to the wire. Charlotte will have to come out with more energy and execution early as Boston is playing its best ball of the season.
Tip-off for tonight’s game is 7:00pm.