Fourth-Quarter Offense Stalls for Hornets in Loss to Sixers
Walker Scores Game-High 37 Points as Charlotte Comes Up Just Short in Philadelphia
By Sam Perley
Late-game execution bit the Hornets for the second time in three games as they dropped another close one to the 76ers, 105-103, on Saturday, Oct. 27, in Philadelphia. The defeat extended Charlotte’s losing streak to its Atlantic Division foes to seven games.
Kemba Walker had another monstrous performance, finishing with 37 points, six rebounds, six assists and two blocks in the loss. This is the first time since March 7-9, 2016 that Walker has had at least 30 points, five rebounds and five assists in consecutive outings.
The Hornets were in the game for much of the night, but couldn’t overcome a dreadful 5-of-23 shooting performance from the field in the final frame (21.7 percent), which included a 2-of-11 clip from distance (18.2 percent). All but four of the team’s 18 points in the fourth were scored by Walker.
“Great effort, especially defensively,” said Hornets Head Coach James Borrego. “Got a lot of stops, not enough stops to win that game. Really proud of our group just how they battled. We got some good looks. They just didn’t fall. Had some clean, wide-open looks from three. We just didn’t make enough shots in the fourth quarter.”
Miles Bridges had 14 points and two rebounds off the bench, while Jeremy Lamb and Cody Zeller each chipped in 12 points apiece. With Tony Parker sitting out (rest), rookie point guard Devonte’ Graham tallied the first seven points of his NBA career in addition to two rebounds and two assists in 13 minutes of action.
“[The rookies] are working every day. They’re developing every day,” added Borrego. “They’re ready for the moment. Devonte’s performance tonight didn’t surprise me. It was a great experience for him. I think he handled himself very well. Miles again, he’s learning, he’s growing. Those minutes down the stretch are only going to build him and grow him.”
All-NBAcCenter Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 27 points, a game-high 14 rebounds and two blocks. Ben Simmons (14 points and 12 rebounds) and Robert Covington (18 points and 10 rebounds) also both recorded double-doubles in the victory.
Charlotte shot just 9-of-35 from long distance (25.7 percent) and lost the rebounding battle, 56-48. Both teams converted exactly 83.3 percent of their free-throw attempts, although Philadelphia had six more trips to the line than the Hornets did.
The Hornets begin a four-game homestand on Tuesday, Oct. 30, when they take on the Miami Heat starting at 7 p.m. EST.