Charlotte Hornets wrapup: Wednesday night’s game vs. Philadelphia 76ers
By Richard Walker
Notes and observations from Wednesday’s 118-111 Hornets’ home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers that dropped Charlotte to 10-12 overall:
… Philadelphia has now beaten the Hornets 14 straight times. It’s a winning streak that dates to Jan. 13, 2017 and is the fourth-longest by a Charlotte opponent in franchise history. The only longer Hornets’ losing streaks are 21 games to the Dallas Mavericks (2000 to 2012), 20 games to the Miami Heat (2010 to 2014) and 17 games to the Chicago Bulls (1989 to 1992).
… Having two starters out – guard Terry Rozier and forward P.J. Washington – was hardly a recipe for Hornets’ success. That was compounded by a slow start that saw Philadelphia lead 30-13 after one quarter and by a game-high 26 points (60-34) late in the second quarter.
… In spite of all of that, Charlotte had an open Miles Bridges 3-point attempt with 2:30 that could’ve pulled the Hornets with five points. “Obviously the first quarter cost us,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “We dug ourselves too big a hole. We had to play almost perfect to catch up.”
… Philadelphia’s All-Star center Joel Embiid finished with 34 points and 11 rebounds. He had 13 points and six rebounds in the first quarter as the 76ers got off to their fast start. “He’s unguardable,” Hornets forward Miles Bridges said. “He’s tough. That’s why he’s the top MVP candidate right now.”
… Bridges was making his first start of the season after starting 89 of the first 145 games of the first two years of his career. “If P (Washington) can’t go on Friday, I’ve got to bring a lot of energy,” said Bridges, who had 16 points, eight rebounds and three assists in 32 minutes.
… Gordon Hayward led Charlotte with 22 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Rookie LaMelo Ball added 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists. And Malik Monk, two days after a career-high 36 points in the 129-121 overtime win at Miami, had 13 points and converted four of 10 field goals and three of seven 3-pointers.
What’s next: Charlotte hosts Utah on Friday at 8 p.m. It’ll mark the second straight against a team with the best record in its conference. Philadelphia (16-6) leads the Eastern Conference and Utah will enter Thursday’s game at Atlanta with the best record (16-5) in the NBA and the Western Conference.