The Hornets drop a pivotal Eastern Conference game against the Chicago Bulls fueled by a 2nd half disaster that led to Charlotte getting routed at home by 21 points.
The first half was a tale of two quarters for the Hornets, who came out slow to start the game. Chicago was able to jump out to a 20-9 lead and asserted themselves from tip-off. The Hornets defense struggled mightily which led to some poor effort on offense. The Hornets made a small push to close the 1st quarter and went into the 2nd quarter down 34-24.
The 2nd quarter saw much better play defensively from the Hornets and they started to wake up on offense and push the pace. P.J Washington and Terry Rozier shouldered the load for the offense both led the team in points going into the 2nd half with 12 points apiece. LaMelo Ball struggled in the 1st half he was 0/6 to start the game and did not make much of an impact on the floor.
The 2nd is where the game was lost for the Hornets. Charlotte completely fell apart in the 3rd quarter defensively Chicago picked them apart with their ball movement. To add to their poor defense, they couldn’t knock down a shot to save their life.
The Hornets being dominated on the boards led to their demise, something that has been a problem all season was exploited tonight. It was a struggle for the Hornets to get stops but even when they did the Bulls grabbed their own miss and cashed in on opportunities for 2nd chance points.
Nikola Vucevic should have a new nickname after that one “the punisher” because that’s exactly what he did to the Hornets tonight, he punished them in all three phases of the game. Vucevic did pretty much whatever he wanted on offense and took advantage of some pretty awful rotations from the Hornets defense.
Vucevic ended the game with 29 points and 14 rebounds on 12/24 shooting from the floor, a dominant outing for the all-star big.
Albeit the 4th quarter was majority garbage time we saw some really good pace from the Hornets fast-break offense in an attempt to make a late push. That was the energy you were looking for to come out the half but was never there.
Charlotte drops this one and now sink to 32-34 on the season. They’ll have no time to dwell on this game as they have to get ready for the 2nd night of a back-to-back against the Orlando Magic tomorrow.