The Charlotte Hornets lost a thriller in Brooklyn. After leading for most of the game, they were not able to keep up their intensity in the fourth quarter. They gave up 37 points in the final frame and a heartbreaking three-pointer at the buzzer.
Coming into this game, many people thought that the absence of Marco Belinelli would result in the offense struggling, but it was the exact opposite. The Hornets played poor defense which eventually led to their downfall. The Charlotte Hornets started off on fire, Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum was able to get to any spot on the floor that they wanted. Even more, promising was seeing Michael Kidd-Gilchrist active offensively.
He had three backdoor cuts that resulted in six points and even hit an elbow jumper. The Brooklyn Nets play at a fast pace that allows them to do a lot of their damage in transition before defenses are set. And the Hornets seemed to benefit from this, scoring sixty-three points at the half.
The offense allowed people to ignore the poor defensive effort, but this changed in the third quarter when the Hornets started missing shots. Brooklyn went on a 12-0 run to bring the game within reach with about 8 minutes left in the third quarter. Defenders constantly went under on screens, leaving Bojan Bogdanovic open for three pointers and they were a step late on rotations.
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Unfortunately, this also coincided with Jeremy Lin reaggravating his hamstring injury. Promptly after Lin went out, the Hornets went on a 9-0 run to go up by as many as eight points in the third. However, the Nets cut into the lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter went back and forth with both teams playing poor defense. The Hornets allowed Brook Lopez to score 10 of his 21 points during this frame and left Bogdanovic as well as Sean Kilpatrick open for three-pointers which helped the Nets take the lead. The Hornets found themselves down one point with 8.6 seconds remaining.
Everyone in the arena knew the ball would be in Kemba’s hands coming out of the timeout. Unlike most nights, however, the Hornets took the lead on a Cody Zeller putback after Kemba’s layup was blocked. Unfortunately, this left just enough time on the shot clock for Randy Foye to hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for his first made field goal of the game.
The biggest takeaways from the game:
- The Charlotte Hornets are still suffering from defensive lapses. They allowed the Brooklyn Nets to make 15 three-pointers when the team only averages around 10 per game.
- This loss brings the Hornets road record below .500 (7-8). The Hornets will need to fix their road woes if they want to make a splash in the playoffs.
- The Charlotte Hornets can rely on Nic Batum if he is playing well. One of the big criticism of Nic is his inconsistency. However, when he is playing well, very few teams can stop him. Nic put together another solid effort tonight. When the Hornets were down late in the fourth they turned to the hot-handed Batum to hit shot after shot.
With the loss, the Charlotte Hornets’ three-game winning streak came to an end. They will look to bounce back in their next game against their division rivals in the Orlando Magic. This was a tough loss but the season is long and while there were a few negatives from the match, positives are sure to follow as Steve Clifford will make sure his team picks up their game.