The Charlotte Hornets went into Brooklyn and spoiled Kyrie Irving’s first home game in the Barclay’s Center, defeating the Nets 119-110. The win put the Charlotte Hornets in the 8th seed in the East, and more importantly, Charlotte now has the tiebreaker over Brooklyn by winning the season series 2-1.
There’s only 13 days left in the season and every game at this point carries some importance as the Hornets fight for play-in game positioning. Here are some observations from the Hornets win.
LaMelo Ball was the Best Player on the Floor:
In a game that featured Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving it was LaMelo Ball who looked like the best player on the floor. LaMelo finished the game with 33 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds. LaMelo was 7-12 from three and 10-21 from the floor. LaMelo is on pace to finish the season averaging 20 points, seven assists and seven rebounds -joining LeBron James and Luka Doncic as the only players to do that at ages 20. In his last 11 games LaMelo is averaging 22.1 points, 7.3 assist and 6.2 rebounds on 47% shooting and 44% from three. Melo is playing some of his best ball as the season draws closer to an end.
Kyrie Struggled in his First Home Game:
Kyrie Irving was only 6-22 from the floor for 16 points in his home debut. Irving just couldn’t anything to fall. He had a brief stretch in the 4th quarter where he got it going, but for 3 1/2 quarters the Hornets had Irving locked down. Charlotte also did a good job on Kevin Durant, who shot 9-24 for 27 points.
Not Much Time to Celebrate:
The Hornets can’t celebrate too much as they have to turn around and play the Denver Nuggets and MVP candidate Nikola Jokic Monday night. Charlotte defeated Denver earlier this year, so they know how to beat this team. Charlotte needs a win to maintain its position in the 8th seed. You can’t win to get into 8th then give it right back the next day. Denver is also playing to avoid the play-in tournament, so the Hornets will get the Nuggets’ best shot Monday night.