Nicolas Batum led the Charlotte Hornets to their third straight victory with his first triple-double of the season against the Chicago Bulls.
The Charlotte Hornets (17-13) were able to defeat the Chicago Bulls (14-15) as they grabbed their third consecutive win. Nicolas Batum led his team with his first triple-double of the season. Even though Chicago kept the game close, Charlotte led for most of the night and was in control with their great defensive effort.
In their third sellout game of the season, the Hornets put it all together against the Bulls. Their defense fueled their offense all night as Charlotte recorded a season-high 13 blocks that helped lead to 18 fast break points. On Nic Batum figurine night, the France international had one of, if not, his best performance of the year with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The second quarter was the defining period in this one as the Hornets outscored the Bulls 26-14. Charlotte went on a 16-0 run in the quarter and they held Chicago scoreless for over six minutes from 10:36 to 4:19. The home team took the lead and control of the game as they were ahead for all but a one-point deficit in the third period. Aside from that, Steve Clifford’s side had a firm grip on this one.
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Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson, among other Bulls, were visibly frustrated with their play as they have now lost five of their last six games. Both were ejected late in the fourth quarter after Lopez elbowed Marvin Williams and Cody Zeller in the neck/face area. Gibson then picked up his second technical and was done for the night.
Who Stepped Up
Kemba Walker struggled to find his shot early on but he helped close the game late as he finished with 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Cody Zeller added 13 points and seven rebounds while Frank Kaminsky also scored 13 off the bench. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a near double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds in this one.
Roy Hibbert only played 15 minutes but he made his impact felt on the defensive end of the court. He recorded four blocks and put his elite rim protecting ability on display. Unfortunately, Marco Belinelli picked up a sprained left ankle in the game and did not return despite first being listed as questionable.
Jimmy Butler was the bright spot for Chicago as he led them with a game-high 26 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists. Doug McDermott scored 15 on the night and Dwyane Wade could only muster up 12 points and seven rebounds.
Highlight of the Game:
? @nicolas88batum clinches the triple-double with an assist to @KembaWalker!!! #CHIatCHA #BuzzCity pic.twitter.com/UvQgmVr5lg
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) December 24, 2016
Tweet of the Game:
Dell had a telling stat pre-game: @hornets have played only 5 games off multiple days off, and are undefeated in those games.
— Rick Bonnell (@rick_bonnell) December 24, 2016
Make it 6-0.
- Batum recorded his seventh career triple-double.
- Hornets recorded their second straight sell out.
- Charlotte’s 12 blocks were only four off the franchise record.
- This game only featured four lead changes.
- The Charlotte Hornets only shot (5-18) 27.8% from the three-point line.
With the win, the Hornets improve to 1-0 in their season series against the Bulls. The two sides will meet a total of three times this year and Charlotte made sure to get off to a good start. They have now won three straight against Chicago and four of their last five.
In their next game, the Charlotte Hornets will hit the road to take on the Brooklyn Nets. It will be their second meeting of the season with Jeremy Lin and company. That match will come a day after Christmas as the team will get another two days off and most importantly, Christmas Day.