I didn't get a chance to watch the first quarter, so we'll have to make do without a recap for that. Moving on...
The start of the second quarter was a disaster. The Hornets scored two points in the first four-plus minutes of the period while missing four shots and turning the ball over four times in the stretch. The Wolves were regularly competent on the other end, which was enough to balloon their lead well into double figures. The Hornets used a timeout to reinsert Kelly Oubre into the game, and he scored six straight points to reduce the working deficit to a more manageable place. D'Angelo Russell hit a late three off an offensive rebound to set the Wolves lead to 10 heading into the break. Oubre led the Hornets with 17 first half points, the only player to reach double figures.
He kept the momentum going into the second half by hitting a three on the Hornets first offensive possession. Strong takes by Rozier and Oubre further reduced the deficit to four by the first TV timeout of the half. Theo Maledon checked in shortly after and scored seven straight Hornets points before an Oubre steal and score put the Hornets up five at the 3:44 mark of the quarter. James Bouknight hit back to back threes a few possessions later to further increase the lead. The Hornets outscored the Wolves 39-21 in the quarter and took an eight point lead into the fourth.
The Hornets scored six straight to start the fourth and force a Timberwolves timeout. It included this highlight combo from Nick Richards and Kai Jones.
PJ Washington scored six straight out of the timeout and the crowd got hyped enough to start a wave. It was a premature celebration though. The Hornets offense got very stagnant and sloppy while the defense couldn't get stops. The Wolves pulled all the way within one to force a Hornets timeout.
Terry Rozier hit a three and a pair of free throws to keep the Wolves just out of reach down the stretch. An Anthony Edwards layup brought the Wolves within three with just under 30 seconds to play. The Hornets couldn't score the dagger basket on the first try, but Mason Plumlee was able to guide the rebound out to Oubre. Oubre almost fired an I'll advised three with the shot clock off, but reason came over him just in time to pass it to Washington instead.
LOL at Eric Collins' reaction when it looked like Oubre was going to take this shot. pic.twitter.com/8c7wQEfGOD— John Schuhmann (@johnschuhmann) November 26, 2022
He made one of two free throws to ice the game.
The second half was about as ideal a performance as you could expect from the skeleton crew the Hornets are rocking with right now. They played connected defensively and got enough scattered contributions over the course of the game to keep putting points on the board.
The Hornets will try to keep the momentum going on Monday in Boston.