LaMelo Ball scored 33 points but the Charlotte Hornets couldn’t put it together on both ends of the floor as they lost to the Chicago Bulls for their sixth straight loss, 121-109.
The Hornets needed a good start in the worst way. Four straight misses from deep seemed like a signal that the struggles would continue, but LaMelo Ball hit consecutive 3-pointers to ignite the Hornets offense. The Bulls answered with some streaky shooting of their own to keep the game even. A third Ball three in the waning seconds of the quarter gave the Hornets a one point lead heading into the second quarter.
The Hornets added a few points to the lead to start the second, but a cold stretch of shooting where they were stuck on the perimeter helped the Bulls go on a 22-5 run and flip the lead. Two Terry Rozier jumpers were the only Hornets points in a seven minute span. They finished with just 16 points in the quarter and trailed by 13 at the break.
The Hornets continued to struggle to put the ball in the basket in the second quarter, but they defended well enough to keep the game within reach. They missed 11 straight 3-pointers spanning the halftime break before Miles Bridges hit back to back 3-pointers midway through the quarter. That cut the Hornets deficit to eight and forced a Bulls timeout. The Hornets came out of the timeout and gave up basically uncontested looks to the Bulls to lose some of that ground. After three, they were in the same place they were at the half.
The Hornets offense started to wake up in the fourth quarter, as they made a few threes and had some successful takes to the basket. However, as soon as the Hornets started making shots, they stopped getting stops. The Bulls got easy looks on the offensive end that they cashed in consistently. The Hornets never made a serious push as the Bulls cruised to the win.
The Hornets got their swagger back on offense in the final 15 or so minutes of the game. Hopefully that’s something to build off. They just can’t stop playing defense like they did tonight. Part of that was them trying to trap to force quick possessions, but they let the Bulls get effortless looks in the second half.
The Hornets will try to get right against the Pistons on Friday.