Sunday matinee games, as a UK based Hornets fan these are always my favourite of the year.
The Charlotte Hornets came into Sunday’s game still missing Hayward due to Covid protocol and Kelly Oubre and Jalen McDaniels to ankle sprains, although Borrego mentioned pre-game there’s a chance both are back for Wednesday. The Clippers came in with the 8th ranked defense and have come back from 25 points down 3 times this month with coach Ty Lue getting his assortment of role players to be a tough team to beat.
Charlotte started slow offensively with Bridges drives being the only source of early points, their defense kept them in the game. LaMelo Ball was a first quarter bright spot playing with good pace and breaking down the Clippers tenacious defense, he finished the quarter with 9 points and 3 assists and Charlotte led 25-24.
During the second quarter some poor shot selection crept into Charlotte’s offense with Rozier struggling to get going and the bench unit of Smith-Bouknight-Martin- Bridges -PJ leading Charlotte to a 10 point defecit. Despite a couple of threes from PJ Washington and a nice alley oop lay in the Clipper’s lead grew as 2021 2nd round pick Brandon Boston throwing down a reverse dunk and above the break three in two minutes.
The 3rd quarter was more of the same, a slow paced game in which the Hornets and Clippers took turns taking the lead. The Clippers went on a 10-0 run with 2 minutes to go and finished the quarter strong with a very quiet whistle hurting the Hornets on their drives inside.
In the first play of the first quarter Cody Martin went under a screen to Luke Kennard and he drained the 3, that set the tone for the entire 4th where Charlotte laid a complete dud being outscored 31-14. Overall Charlotte were held to just 90 points with 33% shooting from the field and 24% from three, a season low with no player shooting over 42% from the field apart from Mason Plumlee was too bigger hurdle to overcome.