The Hornets came out with some great energy at Spectrum Center tonight against the Houston Rockets. Charlotte was playing well, up by as many as eight, and led by six after one quarter of play. At the half, they held a four point lead. The second half was a disaster however, as Charlotte ended up losing 107-95, being outscored by 16 points (57-41) in the third and fourth quarters.
Looking at the stat sheet, the Hornets held their own with the Rockets in pretty much everything, but Charlotte committed a season-high 21 turnovers, shooting themselves in the foot on multiple occasions. On the season, the Hornets average the second-least amount of turnovers per game in the entire NBA, at 11.9, which means they had almost double the giveaways they usually do.
Houston committed 17 turnovers of their own, but with the extremely fast-paced offense they run, that is to be expected, as they commit the fourth most turnovers per game in the league.
After shooting just 3-12 from the field in the first half, James Harden somehow managed to finish with 30 points, along with 11 rebounds and eight assists. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist did an excellent job defending the MVP-frontrunner in the first half, but it’s an impossible task to ask anybody to shut down a player of Harden’s caliber for a whole game.
Cody Zeller returned to action tonight after missing seven games with a quad injury. Charlotte’s starting center scored nine points and brought down four rebounds in his first game in a few weeks. He did, however exit the game in the fourth quarter and headed back to the locker room after being stretched out on the sideline for a few minutes. Nicolas Batum had a near triple-double with 15 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds.
Kemba Walker continued to be unable to find his offense, scoring only 14 points on 6-14 shooting. Walker has now scored less than 20 points in four consecutive games, averaging just 14 points per game in those contests. With Kemba’s recent slump, it has been hard for the Hornets offense to flow, as he plays such a big part in being the catalyst for
With tonight’s loss, the Hornets fall to 24-29, and 1-8 in the last nine games. This does not look like the same team that started the season, as the shooting, effort, and chemistry have all dwindled the farther we get into this season. The All-Star break will be a much-needed rest for the Hornets, who can’t seem to buy a win right now.