Terry Rozier opened the post-All Star break scoring with a nice 3-pointer on the move. PJ Washington came back refreshed, scoring seven early points during the first quarter. The Hornets scored at will and played mostly goof defense after some early breakdowns that led to easy dunks. Malik Monk joined Cody Martin as the first subs off the bench and immediately picked up where he left off. finishing with 11 first quarter points. After one, the Hornets led 33-20.
The Hornets kept the dunk party rolling into the second quarter. The two teams played even basketball for the first seven or eight minutes without either team going on a significant run. That changed with an 11-2 Hornets run that gave them an 18 point lead and forced a Bulls timeout with two minutes left in the half. The Hornets carried that momentum to the break, leading 60-44 at halfitme. Malik Monk scored 15 points in the first half. He was joined in double figures by Miles Bridges (13) and PJ Washington (11).
The Hornets built their lead as large as 21 points early in the second half. Then the Bulls made a three. Then they made another one. And another. And another. After starting 0-for-15 from three, the Bulls canned four in a span of just a couple minutes. They were part of a 16-2 run that cut the Hornets lead down to seven. The game got as close two before the Hornets put a little distance between the teams heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets did a good job reestablishing control of the game after the Bulls made such a strong push in the third quarter. The closest the Bulls got in the fourth quarter was six points. The latest of those instances came with just over a minute to go, but the Hornets weren't going to be robbed of another win by these Bulls. Miles Bridges canned a three at the shot clock buzzer than Malik Monk converted an and-1 to give the Hornets the ten point margin they ended the game with.
Malik Monk and Miles Bridges picked up where they left off before the break and carried the Hornets offense for stretches. PJ Washington looked more like his early season self, especially in the first half.
Devonte' Graham failed to score a point for the first time this season, but he did contribute seven assists.
This win gives the Hornets the series win over the Bulls. They'll look to keep up their winning streak at home against the Nets on Saturday.