Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Friday’s road game vs. Brooklyn Nets
By Richard Walker
Notes and observations from Friday’s 130-115 Hornets’ road loss to the Brooklyn Nets that dropped Charlotte to 27-28 overall:
… As Charlotte’s injury list continued to grow, Hornets head coach James Borrego took a chance on unproven rookie Vernon Carey, Jr., his first career start. “I made the decision yesterday (Thursday) but I didn’t talk to Vernon until this morning,” Borrego said. “I didn’t want him to overthink the moment.”
… Carey, who had played 33 minutes in 10 games previously this season, had 21 points and six rebounds in 35 minutes. A second-round pick after being the ACC’s rookie of the year for Duke last season, Carey converted nine of 14 field goals and one of two 3-pointers. “I feel like I did pretty good. I stayed with the game plan and took what the offense gave me,” Carey said.
… Carey’s playing time limited the playing time veteran centers Bismack Biyombo (eight minutes) and Cody Zeller (did not play) received in Friday’s contest. And, according to Borrego, that may well continue. “Based on what I saw tonight, I’ve got to look very hard at Vernon,” Borrego said.
… Already without LaMelo Ball (broken right wrist), Malik Monk (right ankle), Gordon Hayward (right foot), P.J. Washington (right ankle) and Nate Darling (right ankle), starting guard Devonte’ Graham (left quad contusion) was added to Friday’s injury report along with Brad Wanamaker (right ankle), who played 15 minutes off the bench.
… Charlotte actually led by 14 points at 27-13 in the first quarter. But Brooklyn scored 69 second half points and made 55.3 percent of its field goals and 51.2 percent of its 3-pointers. “You can’t be comfortable with when the team has KD (Kevin Durant) and Kyrie (Irving) and Joe Harris and Landry (Shamet),” Bridges said.
… Harris led Brooklyn with 26 points. Durant added 25 points and 11 assists and Shamet 20.
… Bridges had a career-high 33 points along with nine rebounds to lead Charlotte. Bridges becomes the seventh Hornets player to score 30 or more points in a game this season, the most by any team in the league. “Coach wants me to be aggressive and that’s what I’ve been trying to do,” Bridges said.
… Charlotte’s current four-game losing is tied for the longest of the season. It also knocked the Hornets below .500 for the first time since the Hornets were 20-21. The only good news is that seventh-place Indiana, ninth-place Indiana and 10th-place Chicago also lost on Friday, meaning Charlotte remains in eighth place of the Eastern Conference. The Hornets are 2 1-2 games behind fourth-place Atlanta and fifth-place Boston and five games ahead of 11th-place Toronto.
What’s next: The Hornets return home Sunday at 7 p.m. against the Portland Trail Blazers.