The Charlotte Hornets didn’t have enough firepower to keep up with OKC as they fell to Russell Westbrook and the Thunder at home.
The Charlotte Hornets (16-25) were defeated by the Oklahoma City Thunder (23-20) in the final game of their three-game homestand. They had no answer for the reigning league MVP in Russell Westbrook who nearly put up a triple-double. Kemba Walker and company collapsed late in the game as they were outscored by 13 points in the fourth quarter.
Cody Zeller missed his 18th consecutive game as he continues to rehab from knee surgery. Dwayne Bacon rejoined the team as the rookie was recalled from the G-League after two games with the Greensboro Swarm. Both of the Hornets’ two-way players Marcus Paige and Mangok Mathiang, were not with the team for this game.
This game had an early tip-off because the NBA is experimenting with earlier games to accommodate fans in Europe. The turning point in this one came in the fourth quarter where the Thunder went on a 20-8 run and ended up outscoring the Hornets, 28-15, in the final period. What changed the game was OKC’s rebounding ability as they grabbed 19 offensive boards.
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Player of the Game
Marvin Williams was Charlotte’s best player in this one almost pulled down a double-double with16 points and nine rebounds. He also led the team in assists with four while shooting 6-9 from the field and 3-5 from three. Despite his solid performance, the 31-year old was a -7 in +/-.
Kemba Walker scored a team-high 19 points while Nicolas Batum added 12 points. Dwight Howard grabbed a double-double with 11 points and 17 rebounds. D12 recorded three blocks as well. No other Hornets’ player managed to score in double-figures as Michael Carter-Williams led the second unit with seven points off of the bench.
Russell Westbrook led OKC with a game-high 25 points to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Steve Adams also had a double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. Paul George chipped in 17 points and eight rebounds. The third member of the Big 3 in Carmelo Anthony was only able to put up seven points and 10 rebounds on 3-14 shooting.
Highlight of the Night:
KEMBA WALKER HAS MOVES 😎#OKCatCHA #BuzzCity #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/YcCMagXuQi
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) January 13, 2018
Tweet of the Game:
Michael Carter-Williams just hit a contested 3, and the commentator said: “That’s like looking in your couch for a couple quarters and finding a $5 bill.”
— Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) January 13, 2018
- Dwight recorded his 23rd double-double of the season.
- OKC out-rebounded Charlotte, 57-50.
- The Thunder outscored the Hornets, 44-34.
- Oklahoma recorded eight steals which led to 18 points off turnovers.
- Howard passed Theo Ratliff for 19th all-time in blocks.
With the loss, Charlotte falls to 1-1 on the season against Oklahoma. The two sides split their season series as the Hornets’ three-game win streak over the Thunder was snapped. If the Queen City team would’ve won, they would’ve swept OKC for the second straight year.
In their next game, the Hornets will travel to The Motor City to take on the Detroit Pistons on Monday, January 15th. That game will have a 12:30 p.m. EST start time because it’s on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Charlotte will look to bounce back versus Andre Drummond and company in their second meeting of the season.