The Hornets made it a point to start better than they did on Monday. Cody Martin hit a pair of quick 3-pointers (and then hit a third one later) as part of 11 first quarter points. He wasn’t the only Hornet to start hot. Gordon Hayward hit all four of his 3-point attempts in the quarter as the Hornets raced out to a huge early lead. They led by as many as 21. The Hornets shot 68% from the field and hit 10 3-pointers. After one, they led 46-31.
The Hornets started the second quarter quite a bit slower as the Spurs threatened to make a run. The Spurs eventually whittled the Hornets lead down to eight and had a couple of opportunities to cut it even further than that. Gordon Hayward hit a couple of jumpers to steady the ship and kickstart a 15-3 run from the Hornets to put them back up by 20. At the half, the Hornets led with a season-high-for-a-half 73 points to the Spurs 57.
The Hornets came out a little flat in the second and let the Spurs score a quick easy eight points, which prompted a James Borrego timeout. The Hornets again answered the push from the Spurs, again thanks in large part to Gordon Hayward. He sliced through the Spurs defense for a couple of winding layups and helped build the Hornets largest lead of the game by the 4:06 mark of the third quarter. They further built on that lead as Hayward completely took over the game. He scored 21 points in the quarter and had 41 points total by the third quarter’s end. At that point, the Hornets led 110-82.
PJ Washington dropped his sixth dime of the night to a cutting Cody Martin early in the fourth quarter to for a hoop plus some harm. Martin hit the ensuing free throw to give him 21 points, his first game over 20 points in his career. The free throw also put the Hornets up by 30. The Spurs thoroughly outplayed the Hornets from that point on to make the score more respectable, but they never truly threatened to make a game out of it.
Hayward needed just 19 shots to score his 41 points and the Hornets were +35 during his time on the floor. Miles Bridges flirted with a triple double and finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. PJ Washington had a phenomenal game off the bench 12 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. Jalen McDaniels also chipped in 15 points in his return from the covid list.
The Hornets will try to carry this momentum into Friday’s game against the Trail Blazers.