Miles Bridges scored a career high 35 points to go with 10 rebounds while LaMelo Ball added another triple double to his resume, but the Charlotte Hornets couldn’t generate enough consistent offense to overcome the Atlanta Hawks and lost, 115-105.
The Hornets got off to a tremendously slow start. They made three of their first 16 shots attempts as the Hawks took an early 16-6 lead. Cody Martin and Kelly Oubre checked into the game and brought some energy that helped the Hornets even the score back up. Both teams bricked their way through most of the rest of the quarter, and the Hawks held a 25-21 lead after one.
Kelly Oubre threw down this vicious dunk early in the second, but it was answered by 16 straight Hawks points.
LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges got the Hornets offense reignited and eventually got some help from their friends. Still, at the half, the Hornets trailed by 12.
Bridges scored seven quick points coming out of the half, all coming in style.
The Hawks, mostly Clint Capela, had answers for all of them though. The Hornets would play well in spurts, and then lose focus and let the Hawks take back any ground the Hornets made up. After three, the Hornets still trailed by 12.
The fourth quarter was much of the same. The Hornets just could not pull the Hawks within striking distance, but they never went away either. The Hornets would get a couple of buckets, then the Hawks would score four of five straight to take it right back. Miles Bridges did his best to keep the Hornets in the game and/or separate the rim from the backboard. He threw down some huge dunks in traffic to push him past 30 points on the evening.
The Hornets made one last ditch effort in the final three minutes of the game. LaMelo Ball got it started with a layup, then the Hornets forced two straight Hawks turnoves, one a steal and one a foul on an inbound, and converted both into buckets. The Hornets got all the way within four, but as was the story of the game, the Hawks hit back to back threes to put the game away. In all of the late game tomfoolery, Bridges scored his career high 35th point and LaMelo Ball secured his tenth rebound to give him his second triple double of the season.
The Hornets kept the game within arm’s reach after digging themselves into a first half hole, but they never found that big run they needed to get all the way back into the game.
It was nice to see Miles Bridges recapture some of that early season magic. His outside shot wasn’t all the way there tonight, but he terrorized the Hawks around the basket with his strength and dipsy doo finishes. Ball’s shot wasn’t dropping, but he made his typical impact elsewhere.
Cody Martin was the only other Hornet to make a sizeable impact. He scored 14 points and was a big part of the Hornets key defensive stops down the stretch when the Hornets were threatening to make a game of it.
Gordon Hayward was probably too passive on the night. Terry Rozier continues to struggle to find his rhythm and looked like he was pressing. Kelly Oubre missed most of his shots.
Oh well. Can’t win ‘em all. The Hornets will travel to Washington to take on the Wizards for the second time in a five day span.