Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Thursday’s road game vs. Brooklyn Nets

By Richard Walker

Notes and observations from Thursday’s 111-89 Hornets’ road loss to the Brooklyn Nets that dropped Charlotte to 24-23 overall:

… With Brooklyn coming off a game the night before and All-Star James Harden out with a hamstring, it looked like an opportunity for the Hornets to make an impression on national TV. Instead, the Nets routed Charlotte 32-17 and 24-17 in the first and third quarters, respectively, to set the tone for arguably the the Hornets’ least competitive effort of the year. “Not our finest performance,” coach James Borrego said. “We had a major offensive issue tonight. Give Brooklyn credit.”

… The news got even worse for Charlotte in the fourth quarter when Malik Monk injured his right ankle and had to be helped off the court. “I feel bad for the kid,” Borrego said. “He’s been battling. He’s given us a tremendous lift this season. So hopefully it’s not too severe. We’ll find out more tonight and tomorrow.”

… Should Monk miss some time, Borrego mentioned recent trade acquisition Brad Wanamaker as a possible replacement candidate for Monk’s role. “I’m just trying to make an impact,” Wanamaker said. “It’s sad to see somebody go down. But I’m going to try to fill that hole.”

… Gordon Hayward and Devonte’ Graham led the Hornets with 13 points apiece. Terry Rozier and Monk added 11 and Miles Bridges 10. Brooklyn had six double figure scorers led by Jeff Green’s 21 points. Recent free agent signing LaMarcus Aldridge made his Nets’ debut with 11 points, nine rebounds and six assists in 29 minutes.

… The 22-point loss ties the third-worst margin of defeat this season; Charlotte’s worst loss was a 27-point defeat at the Los Angeles Clippers (125-98).

… Despite being out half the month, Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball won his third straight Eastern Conference rookie of the month award. Ball is the fourth Hornets rookie to earn Rookie of the Month honors three times and just the second rookie in franchise history to win the month in the first three months of a season. In the eight games he played in March, Ball helped lead the Hornets to a 4-4 record while averaging 18.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 1.8 steals per game.

What’s next: The Hornets continue their six-game road trip on Friday at 8 p.m. at Indiana. The trip continues Sunday at Boston (6 p.m.), Wednesday at Oklahoma City (8 p.m.) and next Friday at Milwaukee (9 p.m.). After the road trip, Charlotte will play 14 of its last 21 games at home.