Terry Rozier tied a career high with 33 points while Malik Monk scored a season high 20 points off the bench, but it wasn’t enough as the Charlotte Hornets dropped their fourth straight game to the Memphis Grizzlies, 119-117.
The Grizzlies started the game on a 9-0 run before Devonte’ Graham hit a jumper to get the Hornets on the board. The Hornets struggled to contain Jonas Valanciunas, who scored 8 points and grabbed three offensive rebounds in the first five minutes of the game. The Hornets rallied despite a bevy of turnovers to get back into the game with some hot shooting. After one, they led by three.
The Hornets guards took over the second quarter. Malik Monk and Cody Martin scored the Hornets first nine points of the quarter. Then Terry Rozier got hot with a couple 3-pointers and a tough floater. The quarter was full of highlights, like these.
Terry Rozier carried his strong play into the second half, crossing the 25 point threshold before the midway point of the quarter. The Hornets went on a 10-0 run around that point, capped off by a deep Rozier 3-pointer. Then the Marko Guduric show got started. He scored 11 points in the last 2:33 of the quarter to pull the Grizzlies within two heading into the fourth quarter.
He hit another three early in the fourth to give the Grizzlies the lead. It was part of a 9-0 Grizzlies run to start the quarter, forcing James Borrego to take a timeout. Miles Bridges got angry after a perceived no call and responded with a big dunk and dish to Cody for another dunk to get momentum back on the Hornets side. That momentum was snatched by an unfortunate play. Miles Bridges went for a big dunk in transition and was blatantly hit across the arm. It went uncalled, and the Grizzlies hurried the ball the other way and hit a 3-pointer to go up by ten. The Hornets went on a 12-2 run, including a couple tough interior buckets by Malik Monk. The run was capped off by a Devonte’ Graham 3-pointer to tie the game. The Grizzlies called an iso play for Ja Morant out of the ensuing timeout, and he hit a tough driving layup to put the Grizzlies up two with 0.7 seconds to play. The Hornets couldn’t get a good look at the basket in that short period of time.
Terry Rozier looked significantly more comfortable than he had all season up to this point, and Devonte’ Graham starting in place of Dwayne Bacon may have had something to do with that. Graham responded to the new role with 19 points and four assists. Miles Bridges scored 14 points to go along with a career high seven assists.
This game followed the same paradigm as recent Hornets games. The Hornets played well for extended stretches but started faltering late in the game. The offense was improved, but the defense was severely lacking. That’s going to happen a lot this season.
The Hornets have one more home game to right the ship before a heavy stretch of road games when the Pistons come to town on Friday.