After a dominant win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Charlotte Hornets managed to grind out a win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, 123-117. The win marked Charlotte’s first two-game since the end of January.
It was a back-and-forth game all night long, with neither team able to find any sort of separation. The biggest lead of the night was 10 points, but it was quickly erased. Right from the jump, it seemed destined that this one would go down to the wire.
The first quarter (and the rest of the game) was all about Keldon Johnson. He led the Spurs with a career-high 33 points, adding eight rebounds and two assists to his totals as well. Johnson made his first nine shots of the ballgame, as he almost single-handedly kept the Spurs in the game for the majority of the night.
He did eventually get reinforcements, however, as Dejounte Murray notched 25 points, nine rebounds, and 10 assists. Johnson went cold in the fourth, and that’s when Murray did most of his damage (10 fourth-quarter points). Rookie Joshua Primo (10 points) also gave the Spurs a quality shift off the bench.
Meanwhile, Charlotte’s starting backcourt dictated the pace of the game for the Hornets. Terry Rozier was a sniper from range, nailing six of his eight threes and ending the game with 31 points, five rebounds, and six assists. LaMelo Ball chipped in with 24 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists of his own.
The Hornets’ bench also made some serious contributions, with Montrezl Harrell getting them started with a monster first quarter. He’s gotten extremely comfortable in the pick-n-roll with Ball. The feisty big man ended the game with 15 points and six boards. Cody Martin and Kelly Oubre Jr. put up 12 points apiece, too.
Offensive rebounding was the crux of the night for Charlotte, though, as the Spurs grabbed 13 and turned them into 15 second-chance points. However, a couple of clutch rebounds in the fourth helped seal a much-needed win for the Hornets.
Buzz City now sits at 31-33 on the season, good for tenth seed in the East. They have a two-game cushion over the Washington Wizards. Charlotte will now get two days of rest before welcoming Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets to Spectrum Center on Tuesday. That one tips off at 7:00 p.m.