Miles Bridges scored a career high 38 points to go along with 12 rebounds and five assists as the Charlotte Hornets grinded out a 97-87 win over the New York Knicks.
Bridges jumpstarted the Hornets offense with seven real quick points. A 14-3 run later in the quarter helped the Hornets out to a double digit lead. They clearly did not take the Magic loss lightly as they came out with a lot of energy and played with the level of intensity that we saw in the Bucks and 76ers games. Bridges was the story on his own though. He beat every defender the Knicks threw at him on his way to a 22-point opening quarter. The Knicks as a team only scored 23, and the Hornets took an 11 point lead into quarter number two.
Bridges took a breather to start the second quarter after playing the entire first. The Hornets offense struggled in his absence as the Knicks to big a chunk out of the deficit. James Borrego sensed the struggles and quickly reinserted Bridges back into the lineup. He tacked on another six points to his total to give him 28 in the half. More importantly, the Hornets as a team built on their lead and led by 18 heading into the halftime break.
Miles Bridges was quiet for much of the third quarter, but the Hornets didn’t need him. They played even ball with the Knicks which was more thank okay given the time and score. Terry Rozier and Gordon Hayward did most of the heavy lifting for the Hornets offense. Bridges eventually got himself his 30-piece with a funky bobbling layup. He hit a three on the Hornets next possession to put the Hornets up 23. They took a 19 point lead into the fourth.
The first few minutes of the fourth quarter were very very ugly for both sides. The Hornets took a timeout at the 7:39 mark, and to that point in the quarter, the score was 4-3. A quick dose of Miles Bridges fixed that.
???@MilesBridges | #NBAAllStar pic.twitter.com/xTiY52g3Qs— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) January 17, 2022
Cody Martin hit a three on the next possession to put the Hornets up 23 to all but seal the game. Bridges got his career high a short time later with a step back three deep in the corner over two Knicks. The rest of the game was window dressing.
The Hornets notched the win even with LaMelo Ball a surprise scratch due to a non-COVID illness. Cody Martin took the brunt of his minutes while Ish Smith got some burn off the bench.
Rozier and Hayward scored 22 and 16 points respectively, giving the trio of Bridges, Rozier, and Hayward 76 of the Hornets’ 97 points. The bench struggled, going a combined 3-for-19 from the field. The Hornets made up for the scattershot offense with stellar defense throughout. They’ll need to keep building off that going forward.
The Hornets will enjoy the next couple of evenings off before a nationally televised match-up with the Celtics on Wednesday.