Hornets Close Out 2017 with Loss to Clippers

Turnovers, 3rd-Quarter Shooting Sends Charlotte to Defeat in Los Angeles

By Sam Perley, hornets.com

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A rough start to the second half derailed the Hornets’ chances at another road win as they fell to the Clippers, 106-98, on Sunday, Dec. 31 in Los Angeles. Despite a team-high 30 points from All-Star point guard Kemba Walker, the visitors couldn’t recover from a disastrous third quarter as they dropped their eighth-consecutive game at Staples Center to the Clippers.

Turning Point

Trailing by 10 points through the opening half, Los Angeles outscored the Hornets in the third quarter, 33-14, to open up a nine-point lead heading into the fourth. The Clippers got 14 points alone from Blake Griffin while limiting the Hornets to just 5-of-24 shooting in the frame (20.8 percent) as they ultimately notched their fifth win in six outings.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Kemba Walker gear here)

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with a team-high 30 points on 11-of-21 shooting, two assists and two steals in the loss. This is Walker’s fourth 30-point performance of the season and second in his last five outings (32 points at Milwaukee on Dec. 22).

Clippers Player of the Game

Lou Williams erupted for game-high marks in scoring (40 points; 6-of-9 from three-point range) and assists (8) for Los Angeles in the victory. Williams entered the game ranked first in the NBA in scoring off the bench this season (20.5 points per game; mini. 20 GP).

Game Notes

Frank Kaminsky totaled 16 points, eight rebounds and a game-high-tying two blocks in 31 minutes off the bench… Jeremy Lamb added 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and a game-high three steals… Johnny O’Bryant also scored in double figures for Charlotte with 10 points and two rebounds… Dwight Howard chipped in four points, a team-high 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals… Both teams finished with 17 turnovers, although Charlotte had 25 points off Los Angeles’ giveaways while the Clippers had just 12 such points… The Hornets outscored Los Angeles in second-chance points, 22-8, and in fast-break points, 13-5… Charlotte has not beaten the Clippers in Los Angeles since Feb. 28, 2009.

Quote of the Night

“We kind of lost our flow [in the second half]. Lou Williams got going and whenever they needed a big basket, he provided it. We changed our coverage. We started blitzing him and then he was getting to the free-throw line. Sometimes, it’s a game of making some shots and we didn’t shoot the ball well tonight.” – Charlotte Hornets Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas

Next Up

The Hornets will open the new year against the Kings starting at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 2 in Sacramento. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.