Graham Erupts for Career-High 40 PTS, Hornets Stun Nets in Comeback Fashion
Charlotte Erases 20-Point Deficit, Defense Buckles Down Over Final Two Quarters
A resilient second-half showing and a career-best night from Devonte’ Graham elevated the Charlotte Hornets to their largest comeback win of the season, as they rallied for a 113-108 road victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, Dec. 11 at the Barclays Center.
Graham racked up an astounding personal high of 40 points (27 in the second half, 13 in the fourth) on 7-of-12 shooting from three, five rebounds and five assists for Charlotte. In the process, he became just the third player in NBA history to record 100 three-pointers and 200 assists within his team’s first 30 games of the season, joining James Harden and Kyle Lowry.
“My teammates, my coaching staff, they just believe in me so much,” said Graham afterwards. “They tell me to keep going out and shooting the ball. Marv and Nico told me to go get the ball in the end and make a play. That’s what I did and that’s what put that confidence in me to go out and do it.”
Down by 20 in the second quarter, the Hornets began really rallying midway through the third, closing out the frame on a 17-4 run to enter the fourth trailing, 86-84. Both teams traded blows for the next 11 minutes and eventually entered the final 60 seconds tied at 106-106.
Graham then knocked down a 24-foot step-back jumper to put the Hornets up two and following a missed Spencer Dinwiddie triple, he silenced the crowd again with another step-back shot – this one from three-point range – with just 22.7 seconds remaining. Charlotte hit just enough free throws down the stretch to sweep its second back-to-back of the campaign.
“That second quarter, we could have died. We were down 20 and got it to 11,” Coach Borrego said. “We knew going into the half, we hadn’t played well. We said let’s turn this thing in the third quarter and get it back to single digits. Our overall defensive effort was great. 22 points [allowed each] in the third and fourth quarters. Our guys just kept fighting. Resiliency again from these guys.”
Miles Bridges (14), PJ Washington (13), Terry Rozier (13), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (11) and Cody Zeller (10) joined Graham in double-figure scoring, with everybody outside of Bridges pulling down at least six rebounds as well. Marvin Williams (right knee soreness), Nic Batum (left hand discomfort) and Malik Monk (right fifth finger discomfort) were all sidelined for Charlotte.
Dinwiddie notched a team-high 24 points and six assists for Brooklyn in the loss. Jarrett Allen racked up 21 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, while Garrett Temple (11) and Theo Pinson (10) also finished with double-digit scoring outputs for the hometown Nets.
Charlotte shot 15-of-35 from distance (42.9%) and had just eight turnovers leading to a mere nine Brooklyn points. The Nets connected on just 14-of-42 attempts from the field in the second half (33.3%), including a 4-of-23 mark on three-pointers (17.4%).
The road trip continues for the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, Dec. 13, as they’ll face the Chicago Bulls for the third time this season beginning at 8 PM EST at the United Center. Watch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen on WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM or the Hornets app.