An ugly night handling the ball doomed the Hornets in the Windy City Tuesday night as Chicago got the best of Charlotte 120-114.
The Hornets turned it over 20 times at the United Center and that largely cancelled out any other edge they had in Tuesday’s game. They did shoot the ball better, they did get to the free throw line more and they did out-rebound the Bulls, but 20 turnovers and 28 points of of said turnovers proved to be too costly in a close game like Tuesday night’s.
After only allowing 19 points in the opening frame, Charlotte’s defense sprang a leak and allowed Chicago to score at least 33 points in the second, third and fourth quarters. The Hornets were particularly bad at defending the 3-point line, an mark from which the Bulls knocked down 15 of their 34 attempts. Justin Holiday and Lauri Markkanen combined to shoot 9-of-15 from behind the line and Sean Kilpatrick along with Bobby Portis knocked down 5-of-10 coming off the bench.
Kemba Walker had an uncharacteristically un-Kemba like game. He had nine points and had as many 3-pointers—one—as he did free throw attempts. In the previous three games against Chicago, Walker had been averaging 32 points on 53 percent shooting which only makes it more surprising he was unable to get it going from deep or at the line tonight.
If Kemba wasn’t his usual self tonight, the rest of the starting lineup picked up the slack. Dwight Howard had 23 points and 17 rebounds; Marvin Williams had 18 points; and MKG and Nicolas Batum combined for 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists.
Malik Monk had one of the better games of his rookie campaign with 21 points, 16 coming in the fourth, and was hot from three knocking down five of 10 attempts. Monk flashed both a nice three point shot and some serious hops with a stupendous up and under, double-clutch jam in the fourth quarter. Let the campaign to get Monk in both next year’s three point and dunk contests commence.
Charlotte’s dropped their last four games and will have the next few nights off before returning to the court Friday night in Orlando against the Magic.