Hornets Downed by Hawks in Double Overtime
Rozier Explodes for Career-High 40 PTS; Caleb Martin, Graham Also Shine in Wild Affair
The Charlotte Hornets ended up on the wrong end of their craziest game of the season, opening up their two-game road trip with a wild 143-138 double overtime road loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, March 9 at State Farm Arena.
Terry Rozier finished with a career-high 40 points on 15-of-26 shooting, four rebounds and three assists in the loss. Rozier also went a career-best 8-of-13 from long distance, marking his third consecutive game with at least five three-point field goals (19-of-31 overall; 61.3%).
Charlotte rallied from five down at the 2:03 mark of regulation to take a one-point lead with just over five seconds remaining. After Caleb Martin fouled Trae Young on the ensuing Atlanta possession, the latter missed the second free throw, sending the game to overtime. Still tied with three seconds left in the first extra frame, a drawn foul on Rozier was overturned on a coach’s challenge, extending the game another five minutes.
The visitors eventually found themselves down by three with 24 seconds left in double overtime, but Rozier knotted the score at 138-138 following his eighth triple of the night. On the other end, De’Andre Hunter drew another costly foul on Martin while shooting a three-pointer, sending him to the line with 13 seconds left. Upon sinking all three shots, Rozier couldn’t get another equalizer to fall, effectively ending the 58-minute affair.
“They’re resilient, they’re tough. They kept competing, kept fighting. That’s all you can ask of your team,” said Coach Borrego after the loss. “Heck-of-an-effort by the entire group. They’re growing, they’re getting better. It’s exciting. There’s a lot of bright spots here. I’m proud of that group. We fought, we battled, we’ll learn from it and get better.”
Devonte’ Graham racked up 27 points, 10 assists and four steals, while Caleb Martin (career-high 23 points), Jalen McDaniels (career-high 11 points), Cody Martin (11 points), Cody Zeller (10 points) and Bismack Biyombo (10 points) rounded out Charlotte’s double-figure scorers. Caleb Martin’s output marks the highest-scoring performance by an undrafted Hornets rookie since Walter Herrmann had 30 points in Milwaukee on April 14, 2007.
Young paced the Hawks with 31 points and a game-high 16 assists in the win, which snapped the team’s three-game skid. John Collins finished with 28 points on a crisp 12-of-13 shooting and 11 rebounds and Hunter also double-doubled with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Cam Reddish (22 points), Dewayne Dedmon (14 points) and Kevin Huerter (10) scored at least 10 points as well.
Atlanta finished the night shooting 55.2% from the field and connected on 21-of-43 three-point attempts (48.8%). Charlotte shot 47.1% and 39.6% (19-of-48), respectively, and committed just five total turnovers leading to a mere six points for the Hawks.
The Hornets will close out their two-game road trip on Wednesday, March 11 when they take on the Miami Heat starting at 7:30 PM EST at AmericanAirlines Arena. Catch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen in on WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM or the Hornets app.