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HORNETS VS. KNICKS

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TUESDAY JANUARY 28 7:00PM

Hornets Look to Continue Home Success Against Atlanta Hawks

by Sam Perley

The Charlotte Hornets are shooting for an eighth consecutive home victory over the Atlanta Hawks as these two teams meet for the first time this season starting at 5 PM EST this evening at Spectrum Center.

This will be the fourth outing in a season-long five-game homestand for the Hornets, who are coming off a 111-104 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. Charlotte coughed up 19 turnovers leading to 32 opposing points and was outrebounded by a 49-34 margin, although did get another pair of strong performances from starting guards Devonte’ Graham (29 points) and Terry Rozier (24 points).

“We don’t have great size [at the point guard position], but they have big hearts, great spirits,” said Coach Borrego after the loss. “They play well together and have high basketball IQ. That’s a good combination. They’re learning how to play together. I wish I could have gotten them a few more looks tonight, but I think in general, they’re starting to play well in rhythm together.”

Over his last three games, Graham is averaging 25.7 PPG, 10.0 APG and shooting 45.9% from three, while Rozier is putting up 20.8 PPG, 3.6 APG, 1.6 SPG and a long-distance clip of 55.8% over his previous five appearances. Through Dec. 6, both players are ranked in the top 10 in the NBA in total three-pointers made; Graham has 88 (second) and Rozier has 67 (T-10th).

After a 2-0 start, Atlanta has lost 17 of 20 outings and currently sits 24th in the NBA in offensive rating (104.6) and 29th in defensive rating (113.9). Reigning Rookie of the Year runner-up G Trae Young is fourth in the NBA in scoring (28.7 PPG) and fifth in assists (8.4) with forwards Jabari Parker (16.0 PPG) and first-year De’Andre Hunter (12.2 PPG) also averaging double figures.

Atlanta is last in the NBA in turnovers (17.2) and defensive rebounding percentage (68.6%), leading to the third-most points given up off giveaways (19.9 PPG) and the second-most second-chance points allowed (15.4 PPG). The Hornets will need to generate and take advantage of turnovers, while also crashing the offensive glass for extra scoring opportunities.

Game Notes: F John Collins (league suspension) will not play for Atlanta. G Allen Crabbe has missed the last two games (non-surgical procedure on right knee) and Hunter did not play Wednesday night (right finger dislocation)… Graham was originally drafted by Atlanta with the 34th overall selection in the 2018 NBA Draft before being traded to Charlotte for two future second-round picks.

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