LaMelo Ball scored 23 points to go with nine assists, but the Charlotte Hornets still dropped preseason game number three to the Boston Celtics, 112-103.
The Hornets got off to a much better start than they had in their first two preseason games. LaMelo Ball was super aggressive out of the gate, putting up 12 shots in about nine first quarter minutes. He scored 15 points in the period. PJ Washington chipped in with eight points of his own. Washington had a nice coast to coast drive and a hang dribble pull up 3-pointer that will have Hornets fans excited. Ball hit a tough stepback three and had a couple of nice drives of his own. After one, the Hornets led 35-22.
The second quarter was a little slower with the Hornets cooling off from deep. Oubre led the Hornets in the second quarter with a couple of threes from LaMelo Ball and a nice interior drive. The Celtics slowly creeped back into the game and eventually overtook the Hornets late in the quarter. The Hornets used a late spurt to get the lead back and took a five point lead heading into the break. Ball finished the half with 17 points and and seven assists while Oubre added 16 points of his own.
The third quarter was reminiscent of the first preseason meeting between these two teams. The Hornets struggled to find any offensive rhythm while the Celtics fired a barrage of threes and made almost half of them. Most of the damage was done late in the quarter with reserves on the floor. Justin Jackson hit three straight 3-pointers for the Celtics to spur a 13-4 run that put the Hornets in a nine point hole heading into the fourth quarter.
The Hornets got some good minutes from Mark Williams in the fourth. The rookie scored six points and dominated the glass with four offensive rebounds. Otherwise, neither team had much to write home about. With deep reserves in, both teams struggled to make shots and played the quarter to a 19-19 tie.
It was good to see some good minutes from Mark Williams, and LaMelo Ball is looking more assertive in year three. PJ Washington and Kelly Oubre put in good performances as well.
The Hornets have two more tune up before the regular season starts in 11 days. Up next is a visit from the Wizards on Monday.