Panthers and Hornets winning on the same day? It doesn’t happen all that often but it did on Sunday

By Richard Walker

Ever since the NFL’s Carolina Panthers were born in 1995, local sports fans have 48 times had the good fortune of having a NBA Charlotte Hornets and Panthers game on the same day.

They’ve just rarely enjoyed double victories.

That’s why Sunday’s 20-13 Panthers win at Washington followed shortly by the Hornets’ 106-104 home win over the Brooklyn Nets was historic.

Not only was it the first time the Charlotte-based NFL and NBA teams have won on the same day since 2017, it marked only the sixth time it has happened in history.

More often than not, the teams will split as they have done 22 times.

Even worse, Charlotte’s teams have suffered 20 double defeats from 1996 to 2019.

Here’s a look at the six times the city has won both games:

Dec. 22, 1996: The Panthers wrapped up their first divisional title and an unbeaten home record with an 18-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers a few hours before the Hornets won 102-98 at the Boston Celtics. The Panthers would finish 12-4 in the regular season as NFC West Division champions and won their first-ever playoff game before losing to eventual Super Bowl champion Green Bay in the NFC title game. The Hornets would finish with a franchise-best 54-28 record before losing to the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs.

Dec. 18, 1999: The Panthers improved to 7-7 (in an 8-8 season) following an afternoon 41-24 home win over the San Francisco 49ers that ended just after the Hornets had begun a 106-89 win at the Miami Heat; The Hornets would finish 49-33 in the regular season before losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in a first round playoff series.

Jan. 3, 2015: In games that were being played at the same time, the Panthers won 27-16 at home over the Arizona Cardinals in a NFC first round playoff game while the Hornets were winning 98-90 at the Orlando Magic. The Panthers would lose at the Seattle Seahawks the following week to end a 7-8-1 season in which they won the NFC South with a losing record. The Hornets would finish 33-49.

Nov. 15, 2015: Shortly after the Panthers improved to 9-0 on their franchise-best 15-1 season that ended with a Super Bowl loss to the Denver Broncos, the Hornets were winning 120-113 at home against Orlando. The Hornets would finish that season with a 48-34 record and lost a seven-game first round playoff series to the Miami Heat.

Oct. 29, 2017: Charlotte teams swept Central Florida teams as the Panthers won 17-3 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Hornets won 120-113 at home against Orlando. The Panthers would finish the season 11-5 and lose in their last playoff game while the Hornets would finish 36-46.

Dec. 27, 2020: The Panthers kept Washington from clinching its first NFC East Division title since 2015 in its first year under former Carolina head coach Ron Rivera with a road 20-13 victory before the Hornets took their first win of this season, 106-104, at home against the Brooklyn Nets.