Hornets Head to Holiday Break on Winning Note

Graham, Howard Lead Charlotte Comeback from 18 Points Down

By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com

Result

Dwight Howard and Treveon Graham helped make sure the Hornets would have a very happy holiday as Charlotte rallied from an 18-point third-quarter deficit to defeat Milwaukee, 111-106, on Dec. 23 at Spectrum Center. Howard recorded another double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds, while Graham poured in a career-high 14 points off the bench and sparked the Hornets comeback.

Turning Point

Milwaukee opened the second half on a 19-2 run, pushing the Bucks lead to 73-55 and leaving the Hornets looking for a Christmas miracle. Enter Treveon Graham. With Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas looking for something to inject life into the offense, Graham delivered at the right time, scoring eight points on a perfect 3-of-3 shooting from the field, including 2-of-2 from outside the arc as the Hornets outscored Milwaukee, 26-12 in the final 6:10 of the third quarter to cut the lead to 85-81 heading to the fourth. Riding the wave of momentum into the final stanza, Charlotte outscored the Bucks 30-21 to take the victory.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Treveon Graham gear here)

Treveon Graham returned after missing the last three games with back spasms and instantly made an impact, finishing with a career-best 14 points (previous: 12, done multiple times) on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, including a career-high four three-pointers (pervious: three at OKC, 12/11) on five attempts. Graham scored eight points, including two treys, in Charlotte’s key third-quarter rally.

Bucks Player of the Game

Khris Middleton scored a game-high 31 points on 11-of-24 shooting from the field, including 4-of-10 from long range. He added five rebounds, four assists, a steal and a blocked shot in 41 minutes.

Game Notes

With 21 points and 16 rebounds, Dwight Howard recorded his 18th double-double this season and fifth game with 20+ points and 15+ rebounds. He is only the third player in the NBA to record five or more such games this season. With 16 rebounds, Howard now has 742 career-games with 10+ rebounds. He passed Shaquille O’Neal and has the fifth-most such games in the NBA since the start of the 1983-84 season… Kemba Walker had 19 points on 4-of-11 shooting, including 2-of-5 from the three-point line. This was Walker’s 19th game with multiple three-pointers made in 31 appearances this season, compared to a career-high 65 such games in 2016-17… Reserves Frank Kaminsky (14), Treveon Graham (14) and Jeremy Lamb (13) finished scoring in double digits as the Hornets bench outscored the Bucks, 50-28… The Hornets took 40 trips to the free-throw line compared to only 17 by the Bucks. Through 32 games, the Hornets have attempted 880 free throws compared to just 628 free throws attempted by Charlotte’s opponents. The +252 free throws attempted margin for Charlotte ranks first in the NBA.

Quote of the Night

“He’s a great worker, always gets his work in, works with Bruce Kreutzer constantly on his shot and has worked on his body a bunch in the weight room. Super conscientious, doesn’t say much, just comes in and really pays attention, really, really a good listener. When you are in the position that he’s in where you’re not getting time on the court or you’re sitting out games, you have to be a good listener to be effective in the games and that’s him. He listens during the huddles. He listens during practice time, during shootaround time when he’s over on the side. That’s a special talent because a lot of guys don’t have that same focus at those times, whether it’s a timeout, a shootaround or a practice, but he has the ability to do that and carry it over to the game and not make any mistakes.” - Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas on Treveon Graham

Next Up

The Hornets stay at Spectrum Center for a 7 p.m. tip on Wednesday against Boston. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.