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HORNETS VS. KINGS

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TUESDAY DECEMBER 17 7:00PM

Hornets Back in NYC, Shifting Focus to Brooklyn Nets

by Sam Perley

The Charlotte Hornets have returned to New York City for the second time in three games as they get set to face the Brooklyn Nets beginning tonight at 7:30 PM EST at the Barclays Center.

Charlotte is coming off a rough 132-96 road loss in Toronto, marking its worst defeat of the season thus far. The Raptors shot a blistering 20-of-43 from three-point range (46.5%) and finished with a whopping 39 points off turnovers, resulting in a game that just spiraled away from the Hornets over the final two quarters of play.

“I think the biggest thing about an NBA season is that you’re going to have nights like this and obviously you want to limit these nights,” said Marvin Williams afterwards. “You can’t dwell too hard on them. I’m sure we’ll watch film tomorrow and clean up some of the things we did wrong and focus on the next game. You’re disappointed because you want to play better, especially against the better teams in the league.”

Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving is currently ranked sixth in the NBA in scoring (28.5 PPG), although he’ll be sitting out his third consecutive game with a right shoulder impingement. With the six-time NBA All-Star sidelined as well as third-leading scorer Caris LeVert (right thumb surgery), look for fellow guards Spencer Dinwiddie (26.0 PPG and 6.0 APG last 2 GS), Joe Harris, Garrett Temple, Theo Pinson and Dzanan Musa to all see a bump in usage.

As a team, the Nets have dropped four of five and are now 5-8 with the NBA’s 15th-best offensive rating (107.0) and 22nd-best defensive rating (110.7). They are averaging the second-fewest giveaways in the NBA though (12.7), and with the Hornets posting the sixth-most points off takeaways per outing (19.6 PPG), look for this one to potentially be decided by ball security (or lack thereof) once again.

Game Notes: F Wilson Chandler (league suspension) will also not play for Brooklyn... Charlotte has won two of its last three outings at the Barclays Center…

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