Jeremy Lamb scored 20 of his 23 points in the first half and Kemba Walker notched a double double, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Rodney Hood’s 27 second half points, and the Charlotte Hornets lost to the Portland Trail Blazers,
The Hornets went back to their old ways, digging themselves into a massive hole early. It took about four and a half minutes to get behind by double digits. It took another two and a half minutes to get behind by 15, 26-11. The Hornets closed the first quarter on a 12-4 run to cut into the deficit, with ten of those points coming from Frank Kaminsky and Jeremy Lamb.
Lamb and Kaminsky continued their strong play into the second quarter. They finished the first half with 29 combined points (20 from Lamb alone) and kept the Hornets within six as the half drew to a close. Kemba Walker struggled with his shot, but did drop eight dimes in the first half.
A Miles Bridges 3-pointer opened the second half scoring and pulled the Hornets within three. The Blazers eventually built their lead back to 11, but the Hornets were not deterred. An 11-2 Hornets run pulled them within two. After a couple scores from each team, Tony Parker hit a corner 3-pointer to pull the Hornets within one heading into the fourth quarter.
Rodney Hood and Tony Parker continued their battle into the fourth quarter (they each scored eight straight for their teams) before a Miles Bridges 3-pointer tied the game at 85 with 10:39 to play. Rodney Hood of all people kept the Hornets at bay. At one point he had scored 20 of 22 Blazers points over a span of about eight minutes. That included a possession where the Hornets played stifling defense, but the ball found Hood at the edge of the logo with the shot clock winding down. He drained the shot. The Hornets got close several times, but they could never get over the hump and take the lead. They ran out of gas about halfway through the final quarter, and the Blazers went on a 15-2 run to put the game out of reach.
The Hornets bench played very well. Jeremy Lamb scored 23 points, Frank Kaminsky scored 18, and Tony Parker scored 14. Bismack Biyombo hauled in 9 rebounds. All of them had positive plus/minuses. Rodeny Hood outshone all of them however, scoring all 27 of his points in the final 18 minutes of the game.
Kemba Walker made only five of 21 shot attempts and the Hornets allowed Portland to secure 13 offensive rebounds, including some big ones down the stretch.
Up next is a visit from the Miami Heat on Wednesday.