Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Tuesday’s home game vs. Los Angeles Lakers
By Richard Walker
Notes and observations from Tuesday’s 101-93 Hornets’ home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers that dropped Charlotte to 27-26 overall:
… Charlotte’s day started ominously when two more key performers were declared out due to injury. P.J. Washington (right ankle) and Terry Rozier (left knee tendinitis) joined LaMelo Ball (broken right wrist), Malik Monk (right ankle) and Gordon Hayward (right foot) on the bench.
… Hornets coach James Borrego started Caleb Martin in place of Rozier and Bismack Biyombo in place of Washington. “I thought we played hard, I thought we played well,” Borrego said. “We battled. I’m proud of the guys.”
… Charlotte got within 92-91 with 1:54 to play on Devonte’ Graham’s 3-pointer. But the Hornets had two missed 3-pointers and one turnover on their last four possessions and Alex Caruso scored five points in the final 43.3 seconds to wrap up the win for the Lakers (34-21).
… The starting lineup of guards Graham and Caleb Martin, forwards Jalen McDaniels and Miles Bridges and center Biyombo markes the 15th starting lineup this season in 53 games for Charlotte. It’s also the fifth lineup since Ball injured 12 games ago.
… Caleb Martin had season-highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds along with five rebounds. “It’s just a ‘next man up’ mentality,” Martin said. “Everybody’s ready to step up when we need to. Obviously, we were very short handed tonight.”
… Graham had 19 points, McDaniels 16, Bridges 13 and Biyombo 10 points and 12 rebounds. Kyle Kuzma had 24 points, Dennis Schroder 19 and Caruso 13 for the Lakers.
… With the rotation shuffle, the Hornets were outscored 39-18 in bench points. The other big negative number for Charlotte 18 turnovers and the Lakers’ 26 points generated from them.
… The Lakers were dealing with their own set of issues as All-Stars LeBron James (right ankle) and Anthony Davis (right calf) were out again. James missed his 13th straight game while Davis missed his 31st straight game.
… James’ teams are a remarkable 53-7 all-time against Charlotte in regular season and playoff games. That includes 3-1 when James doesn’t play and 50-6 when he does.
… Charlotte fell to 13-11 this season in home games with its first home losing streak since Feb. 5. The Hornets still have 12 of their final 19 games at home this season.
What’s next: The Hornets host the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday at 7 p.m.