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Recap: Bouknight goes off, but Hornets lose to Spurs, 106-105

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Bouknight went back and forth with Tre Jones all game, but the second year pro ultimately got the better of the matchup.

2021 Las Vegas Summer League - San Antonio Spurs v Charlotte Hornets Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

James Bouknight scored 23 points and dropped eight assists, but the Charlotte Hornets lost to the San Antonio Spurs 106-105 on a last second layup by Tre Jones.

The game followed the same flow of the previous two—the Hornets fell behind early and stayed that way for pretty much the rest of the game. Today they actually took the lead at points during the second half but ultimately couldn’t hold it. Bouknight hit a driving layup with 32 seconds to play to put the Hornets ahead, but the Spurs took advantage of a successful challenge (and a questionable decision to award them possession of the ball) to get a last-second layup from Tre Jones. Vernon Carey had the game winning possession poked away from him as he tried to set up for a buzzer beating jumper.

The takeaways:

  • Bouknight is a scoring machine. He has a unique way of attacking the basket with wrong-footed finishes that seem incredibly difficult for defenders to time. There were instances of him being a bit hesitant, especially early on, but he found his swagger as the game went on. He could still do to make quicker decisions at times, but that should hopefully come in time.
  • Bouknight finished with eight assists, which is three more than his collegiate career high. He functioned as the point guard for stretches of the second half and acquitted himself well. A handful of his finds were the product of high-level vision to see openings through traffic while on the move. This find in transition is a perfect example of that.
  • LiAngelo Ball made a sweet buzzer beater at the half. He didn’t play much in the second half, which may or may not mean something (probably not).
  • Kai Jones had a relatively quiet statistical night, but he had another huge dunk (below) and did a much better job playing within himself. He’s proving to be very difficult to stop when he’s given daylight to attack the basket.
  • Vernon Carey significantly outperformed Nick Richards’ last night out. As I alluded to in the preview, Richards didn’t play with a ton of energy on Monday. He frequently walked up the court in offensive transition and wasn’t super aggressive defensively or on the glass. Carey is clearly limited as a rim protector, but he competed defensively and showed some nice footwork and touch inside. He finished with 19 points and 8 rebounds.
  • The Hornets as a team looked much more cohesive. They finished with 26 assists and 12 turnovers after leading Summer League with 24 turnovers per game in the first two games.

The Hornets will be back in action against the Raptors at 7:00 on Saturday. They’ll then have one final game to wrap the summer league, time and opponent to be determined.