The comeback falls short as the Charlotte Hornets lose a pivotal game for playoff seedings after falling to the Boston Celtics 120-111. This was a tough game to watch as early on it looked like the Hornets were completely out of it, but they found a way to hang around in the game and give themselves a chance to win going into the 4th quarter.
The 1st half of the game was an up and down affair for the offense as the 1st quarter featured some abysmal shooting. The Hornets shot 32% from the floor in the 1st quarter as they were outscored by Jaylen Brown 20-19 and were bullied in the post being out-rebounded 6-15 heading into the 2nd quarter.
Charlotte showed more signs of life in the 2nd quarter as they fought to cut an early 20 point deficient to just 11 going into the halftime. The defense started to ratchet up as the Hornets started adding more ball pressure and forcing Boston into tough shots.
P.J Washington and Miles Bridges led the charge as both players started picking up their play after a quiet 1st quarter. Cody Zeller was a surprise after sitting the entire 1st was able to contribute with 9 points in the 2nd quarter taking advantage of some size mismatches.
The 3rd quarter was a complete takeover from Devante’ Graham who lifted the Hornets offense with 17 points in the quarter. Graham was able to give the team a spark, but it seemed like they could never capitalize on opportunities to get over the hump and take the lead over Boston.
Terry Rozier was not a factor for most of the game as he was having another poor shooting night, Rozier was able to flip the switch a bit in the 4th quarter as he gave Charlotte some spark going into the final stretch of the game. He ended the game with 15 points on 4/18 shooting from the floor.
The defense in the game just was not good enough throughout. Charlotte showed flashes of good play and concentration but not consistently. Boston was able to move the ball more fluidly than they were in the 1st matchup which led to much cleaner looks that Boston converted this time around. The Hornets made a big push towards the end but could not get stops to close the gap in the end.
The Hornets also got dominated on the boards as they were out rebounded 54-33 to Boston. Tristan Thompson was a problem for the Hornet’s bigs as it seemed like he was able to grab every offensive rebound for the Celtics tonight.
Charlotte’s defense had no answer for Jaylen Brown, and Jayson Tatum who were able to get to pretty much any spot they wanted on the floor. The all-star forwards combined for 73 points in tonight’s game and led the way keeping the Celtics lead alive throughout Charlotte’s push to get back into the game.
The Hornets fall to 30-32 and are now just a half game up over the Indiana Pacers for the 8th seed. Charlotte will look to get back on track and get some breathing room in the standings as they take on the Detroit Pistons next, at home.