Mo Williams put in an excellent debut for the Charlotte Hornets and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist put in 20 points in his return to the lineup, but it was not enough for the Hornets to take down the Oklahoma City Thunder as they fell 110-103 at Time Warner Cable Arena on Saturday night.
In his first game in the purple and teal, Williams finished with 24 points — including five 3-pointers, 12 assists and four rebounds and looked like the scoring spark Charlotte (22-31) was hoping for when they traded for the guard. Congratulations are due, as Williams hit the 1,000th 3 of his career Saturday night. MKG, in his first game back from injury, finished 8-of-14 from the floor for the aforementioned 20 points, had three steals and provided the Hornets with his trademark hustle and effort that the team so desperately missed while he was out. Al Jefferson also put up 20 points and 12 rebounds and hit his first 3-pointer of the year in the closing seconds.
The Thunder (30-25) played without Kevin Durant, but Russell Westbrook more than made up for his loss, putting up 33 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. He picked up right where he left off in the All-Star Game. Oklahoma City's starting big men (Serge Ibaka and Enes Kanter) destroyed Charlotte inside, combining for 26 points and 25 rebounds (eight offensive). The Thunder put in work in general on the boards, outrebounding Charlotte 59-41 (including 19-11 offensive rebounds).
The second unit of the Thunder in particular was able to thrive against the Hornets' backups, as Marvin Williams and Jason Maxiell did not have the best games of the season tonight. To say Bismack Biyombo was missed tonight would be a massive understatement.
The Hornets do not have much time to dissect the game, as they travel to Texas to take on the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday night.