After a nail biter victory against the Wizards and a nail biter loss against the Cavaliers, the Hornets welcomed the San Antonio Spurs to town hoping for a nice, boring victory. It was certainly one of those things.
The Spurs smacked the Hornets 106-86 on Saturday night. LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol led the way with 17 apiece, but four other Spurs scored in double figures. Charlotte got 18 from Kemba Walker and 12 from Frank Kaminsky, but it wasn’t enough to give them a chance.
After a first half where both teams struggled mightily to score and San Antonio built up an 11-point lead, Charlotte trailed for the entire second half and just couldn’t build enough momentum to turn things around, especially with an injury scare to star point guard Kemba Walker.
The score after the first quarter was 15-14 Hornets, and that’s about all you need to know about that. Very few shots were made. A lot more were missed. It was an ugly, ugly 12 minutes of basketball. To get an idea, think of a normal 12 minutes of college basketball.
In the second period, the Spurs shot the ball a bit better, but the Hornets’ struggles remained. They shot an abysmal 10-for-45 or 22.2 percent from the the field in the first half. There was also this, from Steve Reed of the Associated Press:
Nic Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Jeremy Lamb and Michael Carter-Williams are a combined 1 of 20 from the field.— Steve Reed (@SteveReedAP) November 26, 2017
It was rough.
One bright spot was the limiting of second chance points for the Spurs. Charlotte’s defensive rebounding allowed them to at least keep the lead from getting too out of reach.
Frank Kaminsky also sank two 3-pointers, giving him six points in the half. That was enough to make him the Hornets’ leading scorer after two quarters.
Things got even more dismal in the third quarter, when Kemba Walker went down after running into a LaMarcus Aldridge screen. He was helped up and escorted to the locker room, but returned just before the end of the quarter. I doubt anything lasting will come of it.
Overall, Charlotte played an alright second half, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the first half performance that lost them the game. They scored 29 points in the third and in the fourth, but they weren’t able to get enough stops defensively to cut into the deficit that had built up early.
For the Spurs, Kyle Anderson had yet another impressive game. Anderson has made his mark during Kawhi Leonard’s absence, because Spurs. Anderson shouldn’t be able to pull off the moves he makes, especially at the speed he makes them. Somehow, however, he manages it.
The Hornets are off until Wednesday, when they’ll take on the Toronto Raptors. Hopefully, they’ll get off to a better start then.