The teams didn’t look slowed down by any Turkey Day festivities. Both offenses looked crisp. The Hornets put up 22 points in the first six-plus minutes of the first quarter, and none of them came from the team’s leading scorer, Devonte’ Graham. The Pistons kept in pace in large part due to Luke Kennard’s hot shooting. The Duke product splashed his first four 3-point attempts. Not to be outdone, Terry Rozier did the same. The teams combined to go 15-for-25 from deep in a thoroughly entertaining quarter. After one, the Hornets led 38-37.
The scoring in the second quarter didn’t come with the same rapidity as it did in the first, but the Pistons kept hitting threes whenever they took them. The Hornets didn’t start well from behind the arc, but they did get this:
Rozier checked back into the game and picked up where he left off with his fifth 3-pointer without a miss, but he missed attempt number six one possession later. Devonte’ Graham came to life in the quarter, scoring all 11 of his first half points, including a deep 3-pointer in the waning seconds to give the Hornets a five point lead at the half.
The Pistons were given a technical foul to start the half because they apparently took too long to break their huddle and take the court. The Hornets, on the other hand, took the court but didn’t seem ready to play. The offense was stagnant and the defense was unfocused, causing head coach James Borrego to take a timeout less than two minutes into the half. The Hornets worked their way back into the game and recaptured their hot outside shooting from the first quarter. The teams were deadlocked heading into the fourth.
The teams started the fourth quarter much like they started the game, trading baskets for the first several minutes of the period. The Pistons pulled ahead by as many as eight after a pair of Luke Kennard pull-up jumpers, but PJ Washington answered with the first of several big baskets he made. A few minutes later, Washington hit another three to pull the Hornets within one. It was followed by a Devonte' Graham three after an Andre Drummond offensive foul. Bismack Biyombo blocked Drummond's potential go ahead dunk and Washington tracked down the rebound. He hit his free throws to put the Hornets up three. Kennard missed a decent look to tie but missed. The rebound was knocked out to half court, where Galloway fired. His shot narrowly missed.
All five of the Hornets starters played well. Rozier hit six 3-pointers as part of his 23 points. Washington showed all aspects of his inside out game. Graham hit big shots when the Hornets needed them. Bridges made plays all over the court, not all of which will show in the box score.
The Hornets have to face a quick turnaround as they travel to Milwaukee to take on the Eastern Conference leading Bucks on Saturday night.