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Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Friday night’s home game vs. Minnesota Timberwolves

By Richard Walker

Notes and observations from Friday’s 120-114 Hornets’ home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves that improved Charlotte to 13-14 overall:

… Charlotte players Terry Rozier and Cody Zeller and coach James Borrego used the term “weird” to describe Friday that included the possibility the game would be postponed due to the safety and health protocols that were the reason Charlotte’s P.J. Washington, Caleb Martin and Cody Martin weren’t allowed to play. A 10 a.m. morning shootaround was cancelled and players were told at 2 p.m. to stay at home until further notice. After a 4 p.m. call told them to drive to the arena, they had to wait until 5 p.m. for a COVID-19 test and weren’t allowed in the arena until 5:30 p.m. Then, they didn’t meeting to gameplan until 20 minutes before the 7 p.m. tipoff and didn’t participate in pregame warmups until eight minutes before tipoff. “We’re all such creatures of habit,” Zeller said. “It was one of the weirdest days I’ve ever had.”

… And facing a Timberwolves team that fell to 6-20 with the, Charlotte fell behind 30-25 after the first quarter and never led by more than eight points. “Everything was crazy,” Rozier said. “We didn’t play the best game. But we found a way to pull it off.”

… Rozier was a central figure in that effort as he scored 41 points, including 26 in the second half and 16 in the fourth quarter. “We don’t get this win without Terry,” Borrego said. “The guys called his number and he delivered tonight.”

… Charlotte’s win improved its all-time record against Minnesota to 38-21 with a franchise-best .644 winning percentage. “We had every excuse in the world not to win,” Borrego said. “We just found a way to win. That’s the bottom line.”

… Guard Devonte’ Graham returned to action after missing three games with a strained left groin. Graham made his 77th straight start, played 28 minutes and had eight points, two rebounds and four assists while converting four of 10 shots.

… LaMelo Ball added 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, Zeller 17 points and eight rebounds, Gordon Hayward 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Miles Bridges 11 points and 10 rebounds.

… Bridges’ double-double was his fourth straight to tie Vlade Divac and Jamaal Magloire in franchise history.

… Minnesota was led bfy Malik Beasley’s 31 points, Karl-Anthony Towns’ 25 and rookie Anthony Edwards’ 21.

What’s next: Charlotte hosts San Antonio on Sunday at 7 p.m. for the second game of a five-game homestand.