That was fun wasn’t it?
The Hornets scored a season-best 131 points thanks in large part to a season-high 57 percent shooting night and 15 3-pointers. Offensively, Charlotte was as well tuned as can be and turned it over a mere three times, one off the all-time franchise low mark.
All five Charlotte starters played well and are each deserving of being singled out. Marvin Williams had 10 points in only 19 minutes and hit 2-for-3 from beyond the arc. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also had 10 points and added three rebounds and an assist to boot. Dwight Howard was able to get basically whatever he wanted inside and had 20 points and eight rebounds. Kemba Walker had a bit of an off night scoring with only 12 points, but compensated with 10 assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals.
But on a night where so many Charlotte starters shined, Nicolas Batum’s star shined the brightest. Batum had a team-high 21 points and hit 8-of-12 shots, including 3-for-5 from deep. Batum also tossed in four rebounds and four assists for good measure.
You don’t score 131 points without solid contributions from the bench and that’s exactly what happened in Sacramento. Johnny O’Bryant III had the game of his NBA life with a career-high 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Jeremy Lamb did a little bit of everything: scoring 16 points, knocking down three 3’s, handing out five assists and stealing it three times. Frank Kaminsky had 12 points, Treveon Graham had seven, even Malik Monk got a three ball in garbage time.
As great as Charlotte was offensively, the defense wasn’t quite that. They allowed Sacramento to score 111 points, shoot 52 percent from the floor and 41 percent from 3. Zach Randolph turned back the clock and had 24 points and 10 rebounds. Skall Labissiere and De’Aaron Fox each had 17 points (and Labissiere had 15 rebounds to boot). Bogdan Bogdanovic and George Hill each had 11 points and Kosta Koufos had 10. Defensively Charlotte wasn’t great, in fact they’ll probably lose more games than they’d win allowing numbers like that, but tonight they were just good enough to get a rare road win.
Really the only complaint I have from tonight is Charlotte got beat up on the glass. Sacramento out-rebounded Charlotte 47-30, 16 of which came on the offensive end.
But all in all, tonight’s a night most ought to be satisfied with. Charlotte had a seven point lead after the first quarter, pushed it to 20 by halftime and wound up winning by that same margin. The crisp, clean work shown by the Hornets tonight resulted in the prettiest looking win of the season.
Charlotte stays out west and wraps up this four-game road trip Friday night in Los Angeles against the Lakers.