It was a much-needed win for the Hornets (29-30) as they rallied against the Cleveland Cavaliers (21-38), 108-102 at Spectrum Center. After back-to-back losses from the Hornets, it would serve them great for the team as they are in a position for a playoff push. In the first half, the Hornets struggled heavily in the defensive end. This caused easy dunks for the Cavaliers led by Jarret Allen. The Hornets young core of Miles Bridges and P.J. Washington would rally on, but the Cavs were too much as they would go on a 11-0 run to build up the lead at half time.
The second half started with an offensive clinic for the Hornets. They scored on quick 3-pointers to cover up the lead. However, it would not do justice for that long as the “Sexland” duo of Sexton and Garland would continue on firing from all cylinders. The fourth quarter was a different story with Sexton on the bench with his fifth foul. Terry Rozier and P.J. Washington would then break the lead at the 6:30 mark at the fourth and would not look back. Miles Bridges would score 7 straight points at the rear end of the game to bring up the lead by 10. They comfortably sail on to victory.
Miles Bridges, P.J. Washington, and Terry Rozier scored 25 points each. This explains the balanced attack the Hornets needed to bring the Cavaliers. However, It was the defense that made the difference needed to come back from the game. The difference in turnovers was alarming as the Cavaliers had 16 compared to the Hornets ‘ 5. The energy in the second half was much better and their ball movement stood out in this game.
Star of the Game
P.J. Washington had a bounce-back game after scoring only 2 points the other night. He was excellent especially in the second half, hitting all his jumpers and assertive on the ball. He finished with 25 points and 5 rebounds had a stretch in the fourth that started the team’s run. It was finally time that he wasn’t playing in the center position this game. In past games, he looked lost out there at time with the task of defending the team’s other bigs. However, with the return of Bismack Biyombo to the rotation, Washington had the pleasure of dominating the smaller forwards out there inside and out. I just hope he continues to be comfortable out there. The team’s so much better with a lot confidence on his play.
Aside from the lack of depth, the Hornets just needed to play with a chip on their shoulder. The stakes are getting higher and higher as the playoffs approach. It shouldn’t start in the second half where the team finally gets on the groove to play their game. In the first half, they seem sluggish. It usually results in losses but luckily the team stepped up in the 2nd half that came up with the win. With most of their last few games at home as with the returning players, I am very optimistic for a good May that will result in a winning record for the team.
This team wouldn’t get a win tonight without the prowess of Bismack Biyombo. His 10 rebounds including 8 offensive rebounds were huge for this team to capitalize on second-chance points. Not only that but Biyombo’s size and athleticism were able to contain Jarrett Allen which was dominated the paint early in the 1st quarter. As a lob threat, a lot of attention went to Biyombo at parts of the game that opened up the perimeter for Rozier and Graham to shoot their shots. His veteran presence is needed at this time of the season where the possibility to make the playoffs is within reach.
The Charlotte Hornets will play the Boston Celtics (32-28), Sunday April 25 at 10 am PST.
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