Chicago’s Early 4th Quarter Run Helps Knock Off Hornets
All Five Charlotte Starters Score in Double Figures in Loss to Bulls
By Sam Perley
The Charlotte Hornets closed out preliminary round play at the 2019 NBA Summer League with a hard-fought 75-72 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, July 10 in Las Vegas, NV.
Devonte’ Graham paved the way for the Hornets with 14 points (4-of-8 from three), seven rebounds and a game-high seven assists in 29 minutes of play. Graham, Dwayne Bacon and Miles Bridges had all sat out Monday’s loss to the Chinese National Team.
Charlotte led 59-50 after three quarters before the Bulls opened the fourth on a 12-3 run to tie the game with 6:35 remaining on the clock. The Hornets responded with an 8-2 stretch, but the Bulls closed the gap again and eventually inched back ahead, 71-70, with two minutes left.
Still clinging to a one-point lead in the final seconds, Chicago sealed off the lane and forced an errant Bacon layup attempt, got two free throws from Daniel Gafford and then survived a potential game-tying three from Bridges at the buzzer to seal the win. Charlotte was outscored in the fourth quarter, 25-13.
“I thought we played really well. Overall, I thought we executed our game plan,” said Hornets Summer League Head Coach Ronald Nored. “Our offense slowed down in the fourth quarter and the biggest thing we gave them was 17 offensive rebounds for 22 [second-chance] points. That happened to us against China, it happened to us tonight. It’s kind of our Achilles’ heel right now.”
Isaiah Hicks (15 points), Cody Martin (11), Bacon (10) and Bridges (10) were all in double figures for the Hornets. Hicks also added a team-high eight rebounds (six offensive) and a game-high three steals in the loss.
Nored added, “Offensively, we need to keep attacking. We had done a pretty good job throughout the game. It comes down to how well we finish plays. We have not finished plays well. We’ve gotten beat up on the offensive glass. We’ve got to be better.”
On the Chicago side, the rookie center Gafford had game-high totals in both scoring (20 points) and rebounding (10). Second-year forward Chandler Hutchison added 18 points, nine rebounds and two steals, while rookie guard Coby White chipped in 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The Hornets will now make one final Summer League appearance on either Friday or Saturday with their opponent still to be determined.