The Charlotte Hornets did a good job limiting the Brooklyn Nets in the second half, but the offense couldn’t muster up enough points in the 102-86 loss.
Both teams got off to a strong offensive start. Mikal Bridges made all nine of his field goal attempts as the Nets started to build a lead when the Hornets went a little cold. When the Hornets were able to get the ball out of Bridges' hands, the other Nets were able to cash in from deep. It resulted in a 15 point deficit for the Hornets after one.
The Nets stayed hot on their jumpers while the Hornets started to lose their way offensively. It only took a few minutes for the Nets to grow their lead into the 20s. They were ending almost all of their offensive possessions with 3-point attempts, and they made enough of them to score at a decent rate. Meanwhile the Hornets were rather disorganized offensively and struggled to generate clean looks. By halftime, the Hornets trailed 70-41.
The third quarter was...fun? They limited the Nets to 6-of-22 shooting in the quarter. That’s the good part. The bad part is that the Hornets didn’t do much better. Prior to a hot finish, they made just three of their first 19 field goal attempts of the quarter. The game at that point had gotten badly out of hand—the Hornets trailed by as many as 37 points. The Hornets finished the quarter with a flurry though. They closed the quarter on a 15-2 run that featured three 3-pointers from Terry Rozier and went into the fourth down by 24.
The strong Hornets defense continued into the fourth quarter. They limited the Nets to just 16 fourth quarter points on 5-of-22 shooting. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on what you’re rooting for), the Hornets didn’t have the firepower or the time to capitalize. They made the final score respectable, but they didn’t erupt for the big run needed to threaten the final result. The Nets were able to start killing off the clock with several minutes to play and cruised to the victory.
The Hornets held the Nets to just 32 points in the second half, which is somewhat representative of the solid defense they’ve played over the last few weeks of the season. The offense is still very bad without LaMelo Ball though. The Hornets shot just 37.5% from the field and assisted on just 17 of their 33 made field goals. They aren’t getting good looks from their offensive sets and no one has the creativity to create good looks out of nothing like Ball does.
Kelly Oubre and Terry Rozier scored 17 and 16 points respectively to lead the Hornets, but the duo combined to shoot just 10-of-32 from the field. Mark Williams was the only Hornet to make more than half of his shots, and he notched his seventh double double of the season.
The Hornets will hang out in New York for a couple of days before taking on the red hot Knicks on Tuesday.