Down six at the end of the first quarter, Charlotte’s bench spurred a small run and got Charlotte up by six midway through the second. However, Brooklyn came right back, scoring on three straight possessions to re-take the lead. That started a strong finish to the half for the road team, who led by as much as 10 before Charlotte cut into the score just before halftime.
It was an obvious warning sign to be the aggressor after the break, but the Nets came out the stronger team, and continued racking up points. Crabbe started the game 8-for-8 before finishing 11-for-21, knocking down 6-for-11 from behind the arc. Meanwhile, Chris LeVert came off the bench and scored 22, adding a ton of energy to Brooklyn’s second unit.
Brooklyn pushed their lead to double digits and held it until the end of the game without any serious sense of a run from the home team.
Charlotte’s defense couldn’t be bothered tonight. They allowed 30 or more points in three of the four quarters, and allowed six Nets players to score in double figures. Scoring came fairly easily, but the lack of effort on the defensive end was too much to overcome.
I mistakenly believed Charlotte could win out tonight even if they played poorly. As bad as Brooklyn has been all season, it felt like the right night to stop the losing streak and get things back in the right direction. But now, Charlotte looks like a team that’s called the season.
The Hornets did manage solid bench scoring, with three players scoring in double figures. Cody Zeller had one of his more productive outings, finishing with 13 points and four rebounds, while Malik Monk finished with 13 points on 6-for-14 shooting (good!) but connecting on just 1-for-6 from the 3-point line (bad!). Still, he continues to look more comfortable on the floor, and his aggressive offensive attitude should reap benefits once his shot selection improves.
But yeah, tonight was a stinker. The Hornets don’t look too concerned about winning anymore, which means it’s time to alter the rotation a bit. Monk is in because of an injury to Michael Carter-Williams, but more opportunities for Dwayne Bacon and Willy Hernangomez are needed, particularly if they play a little harder than some of the current rotation players did tonight.
Charlotte gets a day off before hosting the Phoenix Suns on Saturday.