Miles Bridges and LaMelo Ball scored 21 points apiece, but a 22-0 Clippers run late in the fourth quarter decided the game as the Hornets dropped their fourth straight to the Los Angeles Clippers, 120-106.
The Hornets actually started the game well. A 19-4 run midway through the first quarter gave the Hornets an early double digit lead. The scoring didn’t subside through the end of the quarter, and the Hornets went into quarter number two with a 39-31 lead.
For as hot as the Hornets were in the first quarter, they were just as cold in the second. They scored just 19 points and went about four-and-a-half minutes without a made field goal in the first half of the second quarter (this wouldn’t be the last time this would happen). The comfortable lead that the Hornets had built was completely gone within the first five minutes of the second quarter. A Terance Mann heave at the halftime buzzer gave the Clippers a three point lead at the break.
The two teams played the third quarter to a stalemate. The Clippers had a couple little spurts where it looked like they might pull away, but the Hornets had an answer each time and kept the game even. The Hornets gained a point on the Clippers despite six Clippers 3-pointers in the quarter and trailed by two heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets ran out to a nine point lead with a 15-4 run early in the fourth. It was spurred by this Bridges dunk on the first possession of the quarter.
That comfortable lead quickly evaporated when the Clippers scored eight points on two possessions. The Hornets went ice cold from the field. They went six minutes without a bucket as the Clippers scored 22 straight points. The Hornets missed 12 straight shots during the span, and a lot of those were rushed shot attempts as everyone tried to be the guy to break the cold spell.
This game followed a similar script to the Warriors game on Wednesday. The Hornets started well but went cold during a pivotal stretch late in the game.
The Hornets have struggled to put together a strong game on both ends of the floor over the last week or so. When they’ve defended well, they’ve struggled to play consistent offense. When they haven’t defended well, they’ve given up 140 points.
No time to dwell on this loss. The Hornets play in Staples Center again on Monday night, this time against the Lakers.