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HORNETS VS. MAGIC

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MONDAY FEBRUARY 3 7:00PM

Hornets Look to Draw Even with Brooklyn Nets

by Sam Perley

Coming off their most complete outing of the season, the Charlotte Hornets will aim to make it back-to-back wins when they host the Brooklyn Nets beginning tonight at 7 PM EST at Spectrum Center.

Backcourt running mates Devonte’ Graham (33 points; franchise-record-tying 10 three-point field goals) and Terry Rozier (25) combined for a monstrous 58-point showing in the team’s 106-91 home win over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night. The duo has continued to play extremely well off each other since Graham entered the starting lineup on Nov. 13, much to Coach Borrego’s approval.

“[Terry] wants to win and he believes Devonte’ gives us the best chance to do that,” Borrego said after the victory over Golden State. “It takes pressure off of him and Devonte’ when you have two dynamic backcourt mates like this. It says a lot about Terry’s character and the competitor in him. I give them both credit. They’re looking for each other and I like the rhythm that we see between the two of them.”

Charlotte lost in Brooklyn, 101-91, back on Nov. 20, getting 18 points from Rozier and another 17 out of Graham. The Hornets shot a then season-low 37.0% from the field (11-of-33 from three), which wasn’t enough to overcome three 20-point outings by Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince and Spencer Dinwiddie and a -12 rebounding differential (53-41).

The Nets will continue to be without Kyrie Irving (right shoulder impingement), who has not played since Nov. 14 (Brooklyn is 7-3 in his absence). Dinwiddie (25.7 PPG) is leading the team in scoring during this stretch, Joe Harris is second (17.2 PPG) and Allen is averaging a double-double with 15.8 PPG on 67.9% shooting and a team-high 13.5 RPG (fourth in the NBA).

Brooklyn does a lot of its damage down low, currently ranking fifth in the NBA in paint scoring (51.0 PPG) and first in frequency of shots within four feet of the basket (41.3%, per CleaningtheGlass.com). Much like the first meeting, tonight’s matchup between the Hornets and Nets will come down to a battle of rim protection, rebounding and physicality.

Game Notes: G Caris LeVert (right thumb surgery) and F Wilson Chandler (league suspension) are also still out for Brooklyn… These teams have alternated wins and losses in all eight meetings since the start of the 2017-18 season (Nets won most recent).

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