The Charlotte Hornets lost to the Boston Celtics last night, but that’s the least of anyone’s concerns. We got to see this new look Hornets team in action for the first time, and there were some things to get excited about.
The first quarter was strange. The Hornets were on the floor, but Kemba Walker was wearing a Celtics jersey. Terry Rozier was in a Hornets jersey. Walker reminded the Hornets what they lost with an early pull-up 3-pointer in transition, but was otherwise quiet throughout the night.
The second quarter provided the biggest story of the night. Hornets rookie PJ Washington scored 15 points in the frame while giving Hornets fans a peek into his entire bag of tricks. He hit a trailing 3-pointer in transition, made a driving layup from the perimeter, slammed home an offensive rebound, and finished a pick and roll dive with a dunk to end the quarter. He also made an impressive block as a weak side defender that led to a Miles Bridges dunk in transition.
The Hornets starters (with Biyombo in place of Zeller) started the third quarter by outscoring the Celtics 14-5 before taking a seat for the night. The second unit responded by bricking nine of their ten shot attempts, letting the Celtics right back into the game.
The fourth quarter was mostly played by the deep bench brigade. The teams played each other close for the entire period, but the Celtics were always able to keep the Hornets at bay. A Grant Williams offensive rebound off a free throw earned him a trip to the line, where he iced the game. A Kobi Simmons running 3-pointer at the buzzer set the final score at 107-106.
PJ Washington led the Hornets with 16 points off the bench. Miles Bridges chipped in a double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Terry Rozier showed he was serious about being unselfish, dropping nine dimes, including a couple of impressive finds on the interior. Caleb Martin dropped 13 points of his own while twin brother Cody was limited, likely by his ankle injury.
Up next for the Hornets is a visit from the Miami Heat on October 9.