The Hornets looked like they started the game with a 3-pointer, but Miles Bridges’ toe was on the line. It was a fitting start to what would end being a catastrophically poor outside shooting game for the Hornets. They started slowly, but every Hawks early lead was countered by a series of Hornets dunks to get the momentum back. A Hawks run late in the first gave them a brief double digit lead which was knocked down to eight by quarter’s end.
Both teams struggled to shoot to start the second quarter, and some of the misses were real ugly. James Bouknight got some first half and promptly air balled a 3-point attempt, the Hornets tenth missed triple without a make. The Hornets went 4:17 without a field goal during that stretch. Fortunately they defended well enough to keep the game relatively close. They finished the half 0/17 from three and went into the break down 55-44.
Things unraveled in the third quarter. The Hawks scored five points before the Hornets even touched the ball. A few possessions later, LaMelo Ball was bumped a couple of times and eventually lost the ball. He accidentally caught De’Andre Hunter in the face while trying to retrieve the loose ball and was assessed a flagrant foul for his troubles. That helped the Hawks to another four point possession. Meanwhile, the Hornets continued to clang their 3-point attempts. PJ Washington finally knocked down the team’s first on their 20th attempt of the game. The made jumpers woke the team up, but where PJ giveth, PJ taketh away. He turned over an inbound pass after his second made three to help the Hawks to what was essentially another 5-point possession. The Hornets were down 14 at that point, but the deficit was back up to 19 by quarter’s end.
The Hornets needed to make a push early in the fourth if they were to have any chance at a comeback, and they did not do that. They let the Hawks score the first eight points of the fourth and let the game get completely out of reach. They had a couple of runs throughout the quarter, but it was never enough to threaten the final result of the game.
The Hornets shot 11.1% from three, which is by far the worst percentage they’ve ever shot in a game with a significant amount of attempts. Their previous worst 3-point shooting game with at least 25 attempts was 25% back in 1996.
The Hornets didn’t play too terribly outside of the shooting woes, though the absence of Gordon Hayward was clearly felt. The offense wasn’t quite as crisp as usual, and it’s always a little tougher with one less person in the lineup that can get themselves a bucket when things aren’t going well.
The Hornets will have Monday off to get some shots up before taking on the Raptors on Tuesday.