Jeremy Lin led the Hornets with 17 points, on 5-for-10 shooting, to go with seven assists, while Jeremy Lamb added 16 points. Nic Batum led the starters with 14 points, six rebounds, and three assists, scoring nine in the first quarter alone.
Despite scoring over 100 points, the Hornets' offense took time to warm up. The team shot only 39 percent in the first half, and 33 percent from the 3-point line. The offense caught fire in the 3rd quarter however, with the team scoring 37 points in that quarter alone. The team would finish shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from three. If their season averages can come somewhere close to this, the Hornets won't be bottom of the league on offense.
Steve Clifford stated this team would be less reliant on Al Jefferson, and that was the case tonight. While Jefferson still got plenty of touches, he only attempted four shots, finishing with only four points. To have the Hornets score 106 points without having to rely on Jefferson is a great sign, even if it was just for one night.
The ball moved around the perimeter much more, with Batum starting the offense in both the half-court and on the break. With the second unit, Lin handled much of the play making duties, and creating several open shot opportunities by driving the lane and drawing defenders. Lin played a lot off the ball in the second half, with Roberts handling the point guard duties, but handled that role as well, which is a good sign seeing as he will likely see time with Kemba Walker.
Marvin Williams earned the starting spot in tonight's game, and delivered as he often did last season, scoring nine points on 3-6 shooting from the 3-point line. Cody Zeller had a nice game of his own, finishing with 10 points and 5 rebounds, not missing a shot. Zeller did not attempt a 3-pointer however, which is something he will need to prove he can do this preseason if he wants to strengthen his case for the starting spot.
Hornets rookie Frank Kaminsky entered the game in the fourth quarter, and logged 10 minutes. In that span, he finished with seven points, four rebounds, and knocked down an open 3-pointer at the top of the arch. He held his own a couple of times in the post as well, blocking a shot late in the game, while playing solid interior defense a couple of plays earlier.
Unfortunately, the biggest news coming out of tonight was the injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. MKG slipped and fell hard in the first half as he was attempting a drive, and appeared to land hard on his arm or shoulder. He was helped off the floor, taken to the locker room, and then, according to the Hornets PR, taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Tonight's win doesn't mean a whole lot, but it was a nice start, and showcased what appears to a much improved offense.