The Charlotte Hornets led wire-to-wire in their first win of the pre-season, topping the Orlando Magic with a score of 123-115.
Devonte’ Graham found Cheap Terry Rozier Jersey on a nice backdoor cut to the rim for the game’s first bucket. In the opening minutes, the Hornets were rebounding on both ends, playing solid defense, and moving the ball well but just couldn’t find the bottom of the net. Thankfully, Terry came out of the gates hot and scored 12 of Charlotte’s first 14 points, giving them a 14-4 lead at the first media break.
Cheap LaMelo Ball Jersey came in for Devonte’ as the first sub and the offense continued flowing, and Cheap Cody Zeller Jersey even flashed some improved off-the-dribble scoring. LaMelo canned back-to-back corner threes in the final minute of the opening frame, propelling the Hornets to a 32-18 lead. Terry had 14 points and four rebounds while LaMelo added eight points.
The second quarter started with coach James Borrego throwing 3-2 zone defense at the Magic with a small-ball lineup on the floor, which didn’t look bad, though it didn’t last very long. Orlando’s offense picked up eventually, sending them on a 16-2 run before PJ Washington buried a three to make it 40-34 in favor of Charlotte. LaMelo and Cheap Malik Monk Jersey each hit a three in subsequent possessions before Caleb Martin came in and showed some nice flashes of difficult shot-making, scoring eight points in six minutes.
Steve Clifford, for some reason, felt compelled to challenge a foul call in a pre-season game with 3:03 left in the first half and the Hornets leading 59-52, but we can’t really blame him because it got overturned. Overall, the offense looked really solid in the first half as the team shot 50 percent from the floor and only turned the ball over five times. The Hornets took a 68-58 lead into the break, and Terry led all scorers with 16 points. LaMelo added 11 points and Devonte’ had 10 points and five dimes.
Nikola Vučević and Cody Zeller each hit a three to open the second half. Orlando went on a 9-3 run to start the third quarter and forced a Charlotte timeout, and Vučević put up 12 points in under seven minutes in what was easily the Hornets’ worst stretch of the night. The good rebounding from the first quarter was non-existent and their defensive rotations were a step slower, but at least the defense picked back up.
Orlando’s second delay of game warning gave the Hornets a technical free throw, which Terry made to put them up 87-81 with 2:41 to go in the third. Some really strong defense to close the quarter gave Charlotte a 99-88 edge heading into the final frame.
Cheap Miles Bridges Jersey air-balled a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter, though Cheap Cody Martin Jersey was right underneath the rim to catch it and lay it in, so let’s just call it a pass from Miles. The Hornets kept giving up second chance points—which was the only reason this was semi-close game—but they still led 101-92 with 9:32 remaining. Malik Monk got the opportunity to initiate the offense a bit in the fourth and did pretty well with it, lacing a perfect pocket pass to Cheap Bismack Biyombo Jersey off a pick-and-roll before hitting a push shot from the right block.
A personal 5-0 run from Cheap Dwayne Bacon Jersey made Charlotte’s lead 114-111 with 1:13 left in the game, but Malik stole the ball and finished a breakaway dunk before Cheap Caleb Martin Jersey found Cheap Jalen McDaniels Jersey for a timely 3-pointer on the next trip that stretched the Hornets lead to 119-113. Malik hit McDaniels on a lob pass in the closing seconds to put a nice stamp on the game as the Hornets defeated the Magic 123-115 for their first pre-season win.
Terry scored a team-high 20 points, adding seven rebounds and three steals to his total. Devonte’ and LaMelo each finished with 18 points on four made threes, with Miles adding 17 points on 8-12 from the field. Vučević paced Orlando with a 27-point 12-rebound double-double while former Hornet Dwayne Bacon scored 13 points and five boards on 4-8 shooting.
A few quick thoughts to wrap up; Devonte’ had his best pre-season performance, his shot looked a lot better; LaMelo was 4-8 from beyond the arc; PJ still looks a bit rusty on defense and when attacking the basket; and lastly, the overall improvement from game-to-game for the Hornets has been notable. They played a complete game and were rewarded with a win. One more pre-season tilt on Saturday, and then it’s time to party.
Cheap Gordon Hayward Jersey bad luck with injuries appears to have followed him to Charlotte.
Hayward, who signed a four-year, $120 million contract with the Hornets last month after spending the past three seasons with the Boston Celtics, suffered an avulsion fracture of the fifth metacarpal on his right (shooting) hand during Charlotte’s 112-109 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Monday.
The Hornets said his return will be based on pain tolerance and comfort level.
Hayward missed all but the first six minutes of his first season in Boston after suffering gruesome foot and ankle injuries in the first game of the 2017-18 season.
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After playing 72 games but often struggling in 2018-19, Hayward appeared to be close to his former self last season with the Celtics — averaging 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists while shooting 50% from the field, 38% from 3-point range and 85% from the foul line — but he played in only 52 of Boston’s 72 games because of a variety of injuries.
He suffered a broken bone in his left hand in November 2019, and then he had nerve issues in his previously injured left foot in December 2019. He then missed 12 of Boston’s 17 playoff games inside the NBA’s bubble at the Walt Disney World Resort because of a Grade 3 right ankle sprain suffered in a Game 1 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
Hayward started both of Charlotte’s preseason games against Toronto, averaging 12.5 points. Charlotte opens its regular season on Dec. 23 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.