The Hornets had to withstand an offensive onslaught from the Grizzlies in the early going. They scored on their first seven possessions as Ja Morant got into the paint with relative ease and flipped in a number of floaters. He ended up with 19 points in the quarter. The Hornets did a good job keeping the pace with some help from the three ball, but the Grizzlies built a lead as large as seven points. Kelly Oubre hit a three in the final seconds to pull the Hornets within two after one.
Oubre started the second quarter the same way he ended the first. It was part of a 19-0 Hornets run that spanned the first and second quarter. The Hornets played terrific defense during the span, blocking a number of shots and getting a number of deflections. Nick Richards and Jalen McDaniels were big parts of the run as well. The Hornets led by as many as 14 before Ja Morant returned to the game and steadied the Grizzlies. At the half, the Hornets led by eight.
In what has been a staple of this west coast road trip, the Hornets went remarkably cold from the field to start the second half. The Grizzlies went on an 18-2 run as the Hornets made just one shot in the first five minutes of the third quarter. They turned the ball over five times and missed 12 shots during the run. Miles Bridges swatted a Jaren Jackson fast break layup attempt, and it seemed to energize the Hornets. Kelly Oubre hit three threes and LaMelo Ball threw down an unexpected dunk to get the Hornets back on track. By the end of the third, the Hornets had reclaimed a three point lead thanks in large part to Oubre’s 11 point quarter.
The Hornets got a boost at the start of the fourth quarter by this incredible Miles Bridges dunk and perhaps the best Eric Collins call of all time.
“YOWZA!!!”— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 11, 2021
Hornets announcers couldn’t believe this Miles Bridges dunk pic.twitter.com/6Yi2bXpCqh
They were further energized by a James Borrego technical foul when the Grizzlies pulled within four. Oubre continued to dominate offensively, scoring all over the floor and from the free throw line. The Hornets gradually built a double digit cushion over the course of the fourth quarter. Oubre hit a pair of threes in the final couple of minutes to seal the game for the Hornets.
The Hornets had some off shooting nights from Bridges, Ball, and Rozier, but all contributed in other ways. Ball flirted with another triple double with 12 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
Gordon Hayward complemented Oubre’s outburst with 25 points (with 11 free throws) of his own.
It was a solid all around game for the Hornets apart from the slow starts to each half. The Hornets ability to withstand those hiccups should help them regain their confidence that has seemingly been shaken by their cold spells in recent games.
The Hornets return home to host Kemba Walker and the Knicks on Friday, and they’ll be debuting their new City uniforms.