In order to reach the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Charlotte Hornets need to make up a 5.5 game deficit on the Miami Heat with 25 games left to play.
The team started the second half of the season on the right foot with a, 111-96, victory over the Brooklyn Nets at the Spectrum Center on Thursday night. The Hornets were led by Dwight Howard’s 15 points and 24 boards while Kemba Walker posted 31 points and 7 assists with only one turnover. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams, and Nicolas Batum all scored in double figures to round out the victory.
As we all know, Charlotte has struggled to close out games in the 4th quarter. Against the Nets, the Hornets entered the 4th with a slim 80-74 lead. It was Kemba who put the team on his back as he poured in 14 of his 31 points to close out a 31-22 advantage in the quarter for Charlotte.
Dwight took advantage of a much smaller Nets’ frontcourt as he dominated the boards on the evening. Howard finished one rebound shy of Emeka Okafor’s franchise-record of 25 in the dominating effort. As a team, the Hornets outrebounded the Nets, 54-41.
Charlotte shot 48.3 percent from the field on the evening and knocked down 11-of-21 3-pointers. On the other end of the floor, the Hornets held the Nets to 38.7 percent shooting and 14-of-43 from the 3-point line.
Steve Clifford’s bunch will attempt to make it two wins in a row on Friday night as they travel to Washington to take on the John Wall-less Wizards. If the Hornets truly believe they can make a playoff push, the next week will be extremely important as the team plays 5 games in the next 7 nights.