The Charlotte Hornets get a much needed win against the Atlanta Hawks, behind Gordon Hayward’s amazing Career night scoring 44-points. He was everything the Hornets thought he would be when he signed this offseason for four years $128 Million and showed he was well worth his money in tonights game.
Charlotte fully embraced small ball in the 1st half and paid off as they completely blitz Atlanta. The Hornets got out to fast start building a 16-point lead and ending the first quarter holding the Hawks to a season low 11-points.
The Hornets defense was the star of the first half playing zone almost exclusively confused Atlanta’s offense and forced the Hawks into 10 turnovers. LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward combined for 12-points in the 1st quarter. The Hornets offense ended the 1st half scoring 59 points they were led by Hayward who in particular was brilliant as he ended the 1st half with 25 points on 9/14 shooting from the field which included four three-pointers.
The third quarter was more of the same as the Charlotte Hornets continued to dominate the Hawks defense, holding on to a lead going into the 4th quarter. LaMelo Ball showed why he was called the best prospect in the NBA draft he had 16 points and seven rebounds going into the 4th quarter as his presence is being made felt. The Hawks were able to chip away at the Hornets lead and started to figure out the zone defense just a bit as the lead got down to 14.
The fourth quarter came, and the Hornets lead started to crumble as the Hawks come out with a 9-2 run to really force the Hornets into some tough spots defensively. Atlanta started to pick apart the Hornets defense really attacking their lack of size the entire quarter. The Hornets responded with Gordon Hayward who came in and made an instant impact. Hayward really kept the Hornets in front with his scoring, Hayward had a career-high 44 points in this game and Charlotte needed every single one of those points. As the Hawks really forced Charlotte to create offense in this one.
The Hornets should continue to embrace their small ball lineup as the ball continues to move and allows so much better spacing than when they have Bismack on the floor.
The Hornets should’ve closed this one better but they did just enough to close this one out and get a much needed win against the Atlanta Hawks. Charlotte are back on the road against the Pelicans in New Orleans. They’ll have their hands full against Zion Williamson.