Hornets Head to L.A. to Take on Clippers
By Sam Perley
On the heels of a much-needed road win in Phoenix, the Hornets now venture further west to battle the Los Angeles Clippers, which gets underway tonight beginning at 10:30 pm ET.
The home team won both games between these two sides in 2017-18, which also extended Charlotte’s road-losing streak to the Clippers at the Staples Center to eight games. Following a torrid start to the season, Los Angeles has come back to earth a bit having gone just 8-10 in its 18 appearances since Nov. 29.
Somewhat overshadowed the last couple weeks is how well Marvin Williams has looked for the Hornets. The seasoned vet has scored in double figures in a season-high five-straight games (13.8 PPG), while shooting 44.1/46.2 percent from the field and distance, respectively. He’s also averaging 5.4 RPG, 1.8 APG and 1.2 SPG during this stretch and currently sits fifth in the NBA in three-point percentage amongst qualified power forwards (38.3 percent).
The Clippers will continue to ride potential All-Star forward Tobias Harris, the NBA’s Western Conference Player of the Month back in October/November. Harris arrived in Los Angeles as part of last year’s Blake Griffin deal and so far, is putting up career highs this season in scoring (21.1 PPG), rebounding (8.0), field-goal percentage (50.3 percent) and three-point percentage (42.6 percent).
Harris had some big games against the Hornets back when he played for the Pistons and seems to have certainly turned things up another notch in his eighth NBA season. The forward tandem of Harris and Danilo Gallinari will certainly be a defensive priority for the Charlotte frontcourt as they look to pick up a second-consecutive road win against the staunch Clippers.
Game Note – This game will feature two very evenly matched teams on both sides of the ball: Los Angeles is currently eighth in the NBA in offensive rating (111.6) and 21st in defensive rating (110.1), while Charlotte is ninth in offensive rating (110.8) and 19th in defensive rating (109.5).
Classic Fact – The first-ever win for the Charlotte Hornets came at home against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 8, 1998. Kelly Tripucka scored a game-high 24 points for Charlotte in the 117-105 victory.