The Hornets welcomed fans back to the Spectrum Center with a flurry of 3-pointers to start the game. They jumped on the Raptors with a quick 14-2 lead. I left my post for five minutes tops, and I came back to find the Hornets up by 20. In all, they made 11 3-pointers in the first quarter with LaMelo Ball, Devonte’ Graham, and Terry Rozier with three apiece.
The Hornets continued the 3-point barrage into the second quarter. They made four more triples in the first five minutes of the quarter to cruise past the previous franchise record for 3-pointers in a half. A pair of Malik Monk free throws midway through the quarter put the Hornets up 25 points, which would end up being the high water mark for the first half. It would be another four minutes and 52 seconds before the Hornets would score another point, but beautiful points they were. Ball caught a pass in the corner, up faked a defender, spun, and then cashed in another triple. Both teams stumbled into the half with the Hornets up 15.
The Hornets regathered themselves at the break and started the third quarter in a similar fashion to the first. They started the half on an 11-3 run to reestablish their commanding lead. 3-pointers from Devonte’ Graham and Malik Monk put the Hornets by 26 at different points late in the third quarter, and that’s about where the margin was entering the fourth.
The game was never in doubt during the fourth quarter despite some spotty play from the Hornets. The Raptors never threatened, which let the Hornets get some floor time for the deep bench guys.
The Hornets finished the night with 21 made 3-pointers and 30 assists. LaMelo Ball led the way with 23 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and six 3-pointers made. Graham had 17 points and five 3-pointers made off the bench. Terry Rozier, who left the game in the third quarter with what’s being called a lower leg contusion, finished with 17 as well.
The only fly in the ointment was the turnovers. They turned the ball over an astounding 28 times, though that number was inflated a bit by a flurry of turnovers in the final minutes of the game by the deep bench guys.
In total, it was a terrific performance on both sides of the ball for the Hornets, who now sit above .500 with a 19-18 record. They’ll look to add a fourth game to their win streak on Monday night at home against the Kings.