Charlotte comes up short against the Philadelphia 76ers 118-111, The Hornets came out slow and was put in a big deficit from the start, but they put up a very respectable fight and found a way to make this a game at the end. The 76ers just proved to be too much for the Hornets who were short-handed without two starters in PJ Washington (foot) and Terry Rozier (ankle). Joel Embiid dominated in this game with 34 points and 11 rebounds leading all scorers in points and rebounds.
The 1st half was the Hornets most abysmal half of basketball this season. The Philadelphia 76ers defense completely dominated Charlotte limiting the offense to just 13 points in the 1st quarter and 23% shooting from the floor. The Hornets offense struggled mightily from the three-point line especially shooting 1/11 in the 1st quarter and ending the first half 3/17 from three. The Hornets ended the 1st half shooting a pitiful 36% and digging themselves into a 22-point hole.
The 76ers defense was suffocating, forcing the hornets to settle for some really bad looks and even forced three shot clock violations on the Hornets offense in this game. Charlotte had a hard time as a smaller team dealing with the 76ers bigs in the first half, the 76ers grilled the Hornets on the boards out-rebounding them 24-18 really putting their stamp on this game. Embiid looked every bit like the MVP front runner in the 1st half with 20 points and 8 rebounds, a block, and two steals going into halftime.
Charlotte was able to get back into this game in the 3rd quarter with an impressive 27-9 run they put together, at one point Charlotte had cut the lead down to nine points. The zone defense still was shaky at times, but the Hornets were able to force misses from the 76ers offense. The 76ers responded closing the 3rd on a quick 8-2 run going into the 2nd half holding on to a 13-point lead over Charlotte.
Devonte Graham really kick started the offense in the 2nd half and was up to 16-points going into the 4th quarter leading the team in scoring with Hayward who also had 16-points.
The Hornets finished the 2nd half outscoring the 76ers 69-54, they put up a great fight but Embiid and Tobias Harris did just enough for the 76ers to hold on. LaMelo Ball ended the game tied with Hayward leading all Charlotte scorers with a 22-7-3 stat line to go along with 2 steals on defense, LaMelo Ball was great in just his 2nd start of his NBA career. Gordon Hayward poured in 22-points and 9 assist and really showed his playmaking, would love to see him playing more PG for this team.
The Hornets fall to 10-12 on the season as their three-game win streak is snapped. Charlotte next game is another big one against the Utah Jazz who hold the #1 record in the west and the NBA as I am currently writing this.