The Hornets came out of the gate hot. Miles Bridges and Terry Rozier each hit a 3-pointer and the Hornets got a couple dunks inside. The offense dried up soon after though, as the Hornets only scored a single Cody Martin desperation jumper against the shot clock over a four minute span. The remainder of the quarter was played back and forth, and the Hornets went ten deep into the rotation for the first time it what seems like forever.
The back and forth nature of the contest continued into the second quarter as the teams traded 3-pointers and jump shots to get the quarter going. Devonte’ Graham hit a pull-up 3-pointer in transition to knot the score up at 49, but the Hornets immediately with an and-1 from Montrezl Harrell. That was the start of a 10-0 run across four possessions, all points scored by Harrell and LaMelo Ball, that gave the Hornets their largest lead of the game. The Pelicans answered with a mini-run of their own, and the Hornets took a six point lead into the half.
The Hornets came out of the halftime break with a bunch of energy. The offense was effortless and efficient, with LaMelo Ball contributing a couple of really nice dimes as the Hornets built their lead well into double figures. A few minutes of exchanged baskets gave way to a pair of Kelly Oubre threes that took the Hornets lead past 20. The Hornets scored 42 points in the quarter as they built their lead up to 21 by quarter’s end.
The fourth quarter was a but ragged and resembled a pickup game. Both teams were hitting their shots, and the Hornets were playing a little bit of playground basketball with some of the passes they were throwing (though most of it was successful to be fair). Trey Murphy III hit a handful of threes to keep the Pelicans alive, but Miles Bridges scored seven straight for the Hornets to prevent the Pelicans from going on too big of a run. We got an and-1 from Mason Plumlee, and he hit the free throw left handed. Isaiah Thomas hit a deep three with the shot clock on his back to put the Hornets up 18 with 3:15 to play and put the game away. Thomas and Rozier hit a few more threes in garbage time to give the Hornets 22 made 3-pointers on the night and push them past the 140 point mark.
Bridges flirted with a triple double with nine assists and eight rebounds to go with his 26 points. The Hornets had 41 assists on 52 made shots and the offense looked confident and cohesive. They got 59 points from a bench that was utilized more heavily than we’ve seen for much of the year, and that may or may not have contributed to the energy the team played with tonight.
The Hornets will have the weekend off before visiting a Thunder team that will be on the second night of a back to back.