The Hornets came out of the gates cooking. They built a 20-11 lead in the first five minutes thanks to 5-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. It was the start of what would become a theme for the first half- the Hornets would build up a sizable cushion before letting the Cavaliers claw back into the game. After one, the Hornets lead was just two.
The second quarter went similarly. A nine point Hornets lead was whittled down to zero. The Hornets built the lead back up to 12, but a poorly executed final minute of play let the Cavaliers get back within eight. The young B’s led the way with Kemba Walker in the first half. Dwayne Bacon and Miles Bridges combined for 26 points on 9-of-12 shooting to go with Walker’s 17 first half points.
The Hornets tightened up on the defensive end in the third quarter, but the offense was a little harder to come by. The Hornets got going a little bit in the latter parts of the quarter and ended up hitting five 3-pointers in the frame. They held the Cavaliers to 19 points in the quarter and led 90-75 at the final intermission.
The Hornets blew the game open at the start of the fourth quarter. Jeremy Lamb went on a personal 10-2 run to put the Hornets up 23. That lead grew to 26 by the midway point of the quarter. The Hornets kept bombing away, eventually hitting a franchise record 21 3-pointers. The fourth quarter was more about Channing Frye’s swan song than about the game itself, which is good for the Hornets. The key guys got to rest.
Meanwhile in Detroit, the Hornets needed a Grizzlies win over the Pistons to take control of their playoff destiny. The Grizzlies jumped out to a huge lead early and held it for most of the game, but they stopped making shots in the fourth quarter. The Pistons started the fourth quarter with a 19-4 run to tie the game. They ended up outscoring the Grizzlies 36-14 in the final quarter to complete their comeback and win the game, 100-93.
The Hornets still have a chance to make the playoffs. They need to take care of business at home against the Magic. They also need the Knicks to upset the Pistons in Madison Square Garden. This will be fun.