The Charlotte Hornets finished up a four-game homestand with a 113-102 win over the Atlanta Hawks. With the victory, the Hornets are now 6-5 and went 3-1 during the home stretch. Tonight’s win wasn’t easy; the Hornets had to earn it.
Charlotte came out sluggish, turning the ball over, missing free throws and lacking defensive intensity. Atlanta won both of the first two quarters and was up three at half. The main problem was Charlotte gave up 38 points in the paint. There was an impressive highlight in the first half, however. Miles Bridges had a massive right-handed slam over Dewayne Dedmon.
Things improved in the second half as the Hornets outscored the Hawks by seven in the third and fourth quarters. The main run came in the 4th and was led by Malik Monk. Monk was aggressive in driving to the lane and finishing or setting up his teammates. He finished the game with 13 points and six assists.
Kemba Walker was Charlotte’s leading scorer with 29 points. He started slow, but caught fire in the second half. The captain had seven assists and three steals on 12 of 12 shooting. Marvin Williams was the other bright spot for the Hornets. Williams has been struggling with his shot all season, but tonight he finally broke through. Marvin had 20 points and eight rebounds on 8 of 14 shooting from the field. When the Hornets were cold to start the game, it was Marvin who got the them going.
The only other Hornets in double digits were Jeremy Lamb with 14 and Nicholas Batum with 10. It should be noted that Willy Hernangomez had nine points and nine rebounds and was a crucial part of a big Hornets run in the third quarter.
One of the reasons the Hawks stuck around for so long was Charlotte missed eight free throws. Also, even though the Hornets were forcing a lot of Hawks turnovers, they had 21 turnovers of their own. Charlotte did do an excellent job on the boards - out rebounding the Hawks 43-37 and had more assists, 27-22.
On the Hawks side of things rookie sensation Trae Young had 16 points and ten assists, but didn't make a single three. Kent Bazemore also had 18 points, and Alex Len had 12. Former Hornet Jeremy Lin had 19 points off the bench for the Hawks.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Hornets found a way to get the job done when it mattered. These wins are huge as Charlotte learns how to close out games and not play down to their opponents. Getting above .500 is significant as well. Now, the Hornets get a few days of rest until they head to Philadelphia to take on the Sixers to start a three-game road trip.