Dwayne Bacon led all scorers with 25 points while Devonte’ Graham and Miles Bridges chipped in 21 and 13 respectively as the Charlotte Hornets kicked off Summer League play with a 93-85 win over the Golden State Warriors.
Cody Martin opened the scoring for the Hornets by dribbling into a 3-pointer to stop an early Golden State run, but Dwayne Bacon was the story of the opening frame. The third year pro scored 11 points in the first quarter alone, all of them coming in a short period of time. He hit a pull-up 3-pointer and bullied his way to a couple buckets around the basket. Jordan Poole went shot for shot with Bacon, hitting a couple very tough off-the-dribble 3-pointers.
The Hornets’ defense wavered a bit early in the third quarter, which isn’t surprising for a group that’s only had a couple of practices together. They shored things up until the end, when a couple of Warriors buckets prompted a Hornets timeout. At the half, the Hornets trailed 48-47. Bacon led the team with 11 points, all in the first quarter. Bridges and Devonte’ Graham finished the half with nine apiece.
Miles Bridges a had a couple impressive drives to the basket in the half. His handle seems a little tighter than it was last season. Bacon did a wonderful job getting to the basket, but he didn’t show much as a passer, which is what the coaching staff is looking for. Rookies Cody Martin and Jalen McDaniels looked a little overwhelmed.
Dwayne Bacon recaptured his scoring touch in the third quarter, pouring in ten more points. He went to the mid-range game more after attacking the rim in the first quarter. The overall quality of play dipped a little, as the Hornets in particular played very sped up and sloppily. The Warriors didn’t do anything to capitalize though, taking a two point lead into the final period.
The Hornets started the fourth quarter with a couple of very bad turnovers and let the Warriors build their lead out to seven points. Devonte’ Graham made three very confident looking 3-pointers and a nice pick-and-roll lob to erase the Hornets deficit and give them the lead. It was part of an 18-5 Hornets run to put the game away with just under two minutes to play.
Dwayne Bacon stole the show with his scoring prowess, particularly in the first and third quarters. As impressive as his shot making was, his shot selection was poor and he didn’t show anything as a passer, which was his supposed point of focus for this summer. It’d be interesting to hear the coaching staff’s take on his performance.
Devonte’ Graham needed to improve on his 3-point shooting from last year, and tonight’s game was a great step in the right direction. He hit four of ten 3-point attempts, many coming off the dribble.
After opening the scoring with a 3-pointer, Cody Martin struggled mightily on the offensive end. He dribbled himself into trouble a lot in the first half and then disappeared in the second. He’ll have to build his confidence up on the offensive end as the summer progresses. He played very well defensively though.
The Hornets other second round pick Jalen McDaniels was largely invisible. He played 11 minutes and his only box score contribution was a foul. His one play of note was a very good defensive stand in isolation on the final possession of the third quarter.
Arnoldas Kulboka and Kassius Robertson had strong showings in limited minutes. They’ll be worth watching as the bigger names get shut down.
Up next for the Hornets is a match-up with the Spurs on Sunday afternoon.