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QUICKCAP: Charlotte Hornets lose to San Antonio Spurs 93-98

The Hornets were in it at the end but they couldn't come out on top.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

All things considered, this wasn't exactly a bad loss for the Hornets. Sure late game execution could have been better, but with the way this season has gone the expectations have gone so far backwards it's nice to see at least some progress. Had the Hornets played this game in early December it probably would have been a blowout instead of a close loss.

The Hornets did a solid job of keeping the Spurs relatively contained by not allowing them to kill them from behind the 3-point line, but nobody has been better over the years at out executing their opponent than the Spurs and they showcased that tonight with some excellent passing.

Give the Hornets credit though, while they struggled in a lot of areas they still managed to play some solid defense against a great offense, holding the Spurs to less than 25 points in all but one horrible second quarter. Had they not given up so many points in one quarter, and managed to hold Manu Ginobli to less than 27 points, maybe things would have been different.

Despite Manu's big night, the Hornets had a shot at the end but Kemba Walker couldn't perform his usual late game heroics down the stretch and nobody else was able to step up, except for Bismack Biyombo with a few big rebounds here and there. Except his effort on those rebounds were wasted by bad execution and missed jump shots.

Curiously, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist once again did not play during crunch minutes even though he's shown time and time again that he can be trusted. One day Steve Clifford will trust him, but that day was not today.

The Spurs are a great team and the Hornets did a lot of positive things they can build off of. Of course, it's easier to build off of wins than losses.