Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets never trail in avenging loss to Brooklyn Nets

Charlotte Hornets coach on stakes

Charlotte Hornets coach on stakes against the Brooklyn Nets, close to them in the standings.
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Charlotte Hornets coach on stakes against the Brooklyn Nets, close to them in the standings.

Wire-to-wire victories are quite the rarity for the Charlotte Hornets this season.

Friday they did it at home against the Brooklyn Nets, never trailing in a 100-87 victory at Spectrum Center. The only prior such victory this season was a road game against the New York Knicks.

Kemba Walker scored 29 for the Hornets and Jeremy Lamb added 19. The Hornets led by as much as 20 in the first half before the Nets trimmed that margin to five.

Kemba Walker
Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker celebrates after making a basket against Brooklyn during Saturday night’s game at the Spectrum Center. Walker led the Hornets with 29 points. Chuck Burton AP

Hornets center Cody Zeller added 14 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

The Nets, who beat the Hornets Wednesday in Brooklyn, got 33 points from point guard D’Angelo Russell.

This victory broke a two-game losing streak, raising the Hornets’ record to 17-17. The Nets fell to 17-20.

Three who mattered

Lamb: Might belong in the Most Improved Player discussion.

Russell: For much of this game, he was the only effective shooter among Nets starters.

Walker: Has become so comfortable playing both on and off the ball offensively.

Observations

▪ Key statistic in the Hornets building a lead of as much as 20 in the first half: The Nets shot just 2-of-13 from 3-point range before halftime, compared to 40 percent for the game Wednesday in Brooklyn.

▪ Malik Monk was back in the Hornets’ rotation Friday, playing six minutes at the start of the second quarter. Coach James Borrego worked Monk back into the rotation Wednesday, after he didn’t play in two games and then only after the game was decided in Boston Sunday.

▪ Nic Batum, who hardly ever gets technical fouls, was called for one in the third quarter.

▪ The start of the game was delayed by a clock malfunction. The game clock and the shot clock weren’t in synch.

▪ Interesting connection between Hornets guard Tony Parker and Nets coach Kenny Atkinson; Atkinson once coached a French pro team partially owned by Parker.

Worth mentioning

▪ At halftime, the Hornets honored Steve Martin, who broadcast the franchise’s games on TV or radio each of the first 30 seasons. Martin retired after last season.

▪ The Hornets announced during that ceremony that the two-tier media row would now be named after Martin.

▪ Hornets forward Marvin Williams drew a third-quarter technical foul for arguing after he was called for a moving screen.

They said it

“They’ll be well-prepared, I’m sure, for zone, box-and-one, whatever we throw at them. I’m not saying we wouldn’t do it again, just saying this game will be a different animal.” – Atkinson pre-game, on the defensive strategies the Nets used down the stretch to beat the Hornets Wednesday.

“A lot of 3s that were unacceptable last game came off offensive rebounds, wide-open 3s.” – Hornets coach James Borrego on Wednesday’s loss.

Report card

B OFFENSE: Surprising they don’t get to the foul line more.

B- DEFENSE: They cleaned up the 3-point defense, but still give up too many second-chance opportunities.

B+ COACHING: The Hornets’ got a fast start, which has often been a problem this season..

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

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