The Hornets fought hard but drop their third game in a row, after the Clippers explode offensively in the 2nd half.
This game had the feel of a playoff game from tip-off, The Hornets started the game with some intensity playing hard in the 1st half on both ends. In the 2nd quarter, the Hornets defense held the Clippers to just 13 points and ended the quarter outscoring the Clippers 24-13.
LaMelo Ball had a really good 1st half, offensively he did a little bit of everything and kept the ball moving in the offense which led to really good shot opportunities. Ball led all scorers for both teams going into halftime with 11 points and 3 assists.
Bismack Biyombo had a really strong showing against a Clippers team that likes to play small ball with their lineups. Biyombo played with a certain level of physicality that is a tone-setter for the offense. It feels like Charlotte has been begging for this from Biyombo all season, he went into the 2nd half with 10 points and 4 boards.
Albeit Charlotte went into halftime with a three-point lead 44-47 they still struggled with shot-making in the 1st half. Charlotte shot 38% from the floor in the 1st half and 28% from the three-point line, the edge was winning the turnover battle, Charlotte forced 9 turnovers going into the half.
The 2nd half is where the game got away from the Hornets. The 3rd quarter was a strong showing as the Hornets refused to go away when everything was falling for the Clippers. The Clippers pushed the lead to 10 but Charlotte was able to close the gap going into the 4th quarter.
The Hornets were outscored 40-30 as Paul George turned up his play which was lackluster for the most part. The Clippers also got hot from the three-point line, yes there were some breakdowns defensively, but the Clippers were making a ton of contested looks.
The 4th quarter is where everything collapsed for the Hornets. The breakdowns started to creep up for the Hornets defense as the offense went cold shooting the ball. The Clippers took advantage of the Hornets’ cold spell and ran away with the game. The lead ballooned to 20 and the Clippers never looked back.
Credit to the Clippers, they showed what it takes to be a contender. They dug deep in a game where they had 17 turnovers and a slow start from their two best players.
The Hornets still hold the 8th seed after tonight’s loss but they still have to compete to keep in front of the Indiana Pacers. The Hornets will end their regular season on the road with just two games left. They look to take on the New York Knicks next this Saturday.