After a promising start, the Charlotte Hornets fell on the road to the San Antonio Spurs, 102-85. It was a tale of two halves in the heart of Texas tonight. The Hornets came out of the gates playing well, and led 50-47 at halftime. Things were going well; Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was hitting jumpers, Jeremy Lamb was getting the job done in place of the injured Nicolas Batum, and the Hornets were playing solid defense against a Spurs team that has been on fire offensively as of late.
Unfortunately, the second half was a very different story. The Spurs outscored the Hornets 26-14 in the third quarter, led by the hot-handed Davis Bertans off the bench. Bertans has scored 74 points all season, and 32 of them have come in his two games against the Hornets. I’m not sure what the city of Charlotte did to Davis Bertans, but it should really apologize.
The Hornets struggled mightily from three-point range tonight, and finished 4-21 (19 percent) from deep. The Spurs were 13-34 (38 percent) from downtown. The Hornets did not shoot terribly, finishing at 40 percent exactly, but the lack of three point shooting was something they couldn’t overcome.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte in scoring with 18, but was not nearly as dominant as he is capable of being. Four other Hornets finished in double figures. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 12 points on 6-9 shooting, and hit multiple jumpers, which is a very good sign. Jeremy Lamb added 13, Marvin Williams scored 11 and Roy Hibbert scored 10 off the bench. Cody Zeller scored nine points and grabbed nine rebounds in his first game back after missing the last three with a concussion.
The bench of the Hornets has been struggling lately, and that was true again tonight. The Hornets led early in the third quarter, but things started to go downhill once the second unit came in about midway through, and things did not get any better from there.
Next up for the Hornets is a matchup against possibly the hottest team in the NBA, the Houston Rockets. After a mediocre start to the season, James Harden and the Rockets have been on an absolute tear, winning 18 of their last 20 games. The Hornets do not have very many wins against top teams this season, so a win against Houston would be a great way to get back on track.