Hornets Fall to 76ers to Open Homestand

Season-High 30 Points from Howard and Batum’s Double-Double Not Enough to Keep Philly Down

By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com

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Dwight Howard scored a season- and game-high 30 points and Nic Batum added a double-double (12 points, 10 assists) but no other Charlotte Hornet scored more than 12 points as Philadelphia came into Charlotte and took a 128-114 victory on Tuesday at Spectrum Center.

Turning Point

In a game featuring nine ties and eight lead changes in the first 17:14 of game action, something was bound to give. With Spectrum Center waiting to see some sort of run put together by either team late in the second quarter, it was the 76ers who took control following a Cody Zeller bucket inside that cut Philly’s lead to 50-48 with 4:46 remaining in the half. In the next 4:14, the 76ers would string together a 19-5 run while connecting on all seven of their shots, including two threes, while the Hornets would hit on just 2-of-9 shots and missed all three treys they attempted. Had Nic Batum not connected on a three with 8.0 seconds left in the half and Dwight Howard’s desperation three not rang true as time expired, Charlotte would have been facing a deficit larger than 71-59 at the half. Still, the Hornets could not close the game to any closer than five points in the second half on the way to the home loss.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Dwight Howard gear here)

Dwight Howard finished with a season-high 30 points (previous: 29 at GSW 12/29) on 12-of-17 shooting from the field, including 1-of-1 from beyond the arc to go along with six rebounds and three blocks. It was Howard’s first game with 30+ points since scoring 31 on 11/2/16 and his 24th game this season with 20+ points, the most such games he’s had in a season since he had 32 in 2013-14.

76ers Player of the Game

Robert Covington lead all five Philadelphia starters scoring in double figures with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, including 5-of-9 from long range and 3-of-3 from the charity stripe. He also grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists, blocked two shots and swiped two steals.

Game Notes

Nic Batum scored 12 points, grabbed four rebounds, dished out 10 assists and a added a steal. This was Batum’s 12th-straight game recording at least one steal (2/8-3/6), which is the longest such streak of his career. It is the longest streak of such games by a Charlotte player since Kemba Walker had a steal in 15-consecutive games from 3/9-4/6/13. Batum has had 7+ assists in a career-high nine-straight games. He’s the first Charlotte player to record 7+ assists in nine-consecutive games since Raymond Felton did so 2/24-3/13/09. It was Batum’s fifth double-double of the season, and his third in the last five games (vs. CHI, 2/27 and at PHI, 3/2).… Charlotte’s bench outscored Philadelphia’s 51-39… The Hornets turned the ball over just 10 times compared to 14 turnovers by Philadelphia.

Quote of the Night

“I mean they were terrific obviously and our defense was not near good enough. You know you look at the play against that team, we had an energy level. I mean they’re so good defensively, we scored 114, we moved the ball well, offensively we were really good. We just, we didn’t have the defensive component and they were great. Obviously we never had a stretch in the game where we got them even remotely under control.” – Head Coach Steve Clifford

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