Hornets Cruise to Win over Washington on Kids Day

Rozier (26) and Hayward (25) Combine for 51 in Victory
by Matt Rochinski

More Coverage: Game Action Gallery | Head Coach James Borrego Postgame | Miles Bridges Postgame

This was exactly how Hornets Head Coach James Borrego knew his team had to play in its Sunday matinee against Washington at Spectrum Center, and Charlotte delivered.

With the 1PM tip leading into Kids Day presented by Novant Health, Coach JB wasn’t worried about the early start, referencing that regardless of a 7PM or 1PM start, “You have to bring your juice - bring your energy!”

The Hornets did just that, jumping out to an early 27-15 double-digit lead on the Wizards and never looking back on their way to a 119-97 victory. Terry Rozier led the way with 26 points, including going 5-of-9 from long range, while Gordon Hayward followed with 25 of his own.

LaMelo Ball added 19 points, while getting the start for the injured Devonte’ Graham (left groin strain). Cody Zeller added 16 points and Miles Bridges recorded his double-double with 14 rebounds and 11 points. Bradley Beal paced Washington with a game-high 31 points.

After falling behind 7-0 to the Wizards to start the game, the Hornets were able to find that juice in the play of veteran big man Cody Zeller, who rattled off his own 9-2 run at the start of the contest to tie the score, 9-9. Two possessions later, the Hornets would take a 14-11 lead off a Gordon Hayward three-pointer, sparking a 16-4 Hornets run that built their first double-digit lead of the contest. From that point, Charlotte would not trail again, building its lead to as large as 29 points on the way to the win.

While the Wizard did make a push late in the first to close the gap to 34-31 at the end of the first quarter, the Hornets broke the game wide open in the second quarter, outscoring Washington, 35-21 and putting the game out of reach. Charlotte did it with defense in the second quarter, holding the Wizards to 25.9 percent shooting (7-of-27) and 20.0 percent from long range (2-of-10) in the frame, outrebounding Washington, 21-16, blocking three Wizards shots and swiping two steals on the way to forcing four Washington turnovers in the second quarter alone.

Led by 12 points from Ball and 10 more from Rozier in the quarter, the Hornets kept up the offensive pressure too, connecting on 44.8 percent of their shots as the lead grew to 69-52 heading into the halftime break. The Wizards would not get within single digits in the second half as Charlotte cruised to the win.

Charlotte dominated offensively, outshooting Washington 42.4 percent to 32.8 percent from the field, 41.7 percent to 22.5 percent from long range, and 76.9 percent to 71.4 percent from the charity stripe in the contest. The Hornets also controlled the boards, pulling down an NBA season high 68 rebounds, matching the franchise-high set on 12/20/91 vs. Houston.

The Hornets wrap up their four-game homestand on Monday as they take on the Houston Rockets presented by Upper Deck. The game tips off at 7 PM at Spectrum Center. Make sure to watch on FOX Sports Southeast or listen on WFNZ.

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