Hornets Looking to Split Back-to-Back Set in Boston

by Sam Perley
  • Charlotte Hornets (30-31) at Boston Celtics (32-30)
  • Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 7:30 PM EST (TD Garden)
  • Bally Sports and WFNZ 610 AM or 102.5 FM
  • Last time out: Hornets won, 125-104 on April 25, 2021 in Charlotte

Charlotte’s Perfect Homestand Bid Comes Up Short Against Milwaukee

The Hornets got off to a nice start last night against the Bucks before falling behind by 19 in the second quarter and then nearly coming all the back in the fourth in a homestand-closing 114-104 defeat. Milwaukee’s physicality and length were a problem all night for Charlotte’s small-ball lineups, as the later struggled to defend the paint (62 points) and score from three (12-of-34) like it had done in recent outings. Boston is a relatively smaller squad that got blown out by 21 points just three days ago at Spectrum Center and the Hornets will now need to shake off last night’s tough loss against a familiar foe this evening.

Keep Pushing the Pace and Generating Ball Movement

Charlotte got within striking distance of its single-game franchise record for assists three days ago against the Celtics, finishing with 39 dimes on 47 made field goals in the blowout victory. Terry Rozier (career-high-tying 11 assists), Devonte’ Graham (9), PJ Washington (5) and Cody Martin (5) combined for 30 of the 39, four more than the team has posted in any other game this season. The Hornets’ ball movement and tempo on Sunday afternoon left Boston scrambling on defense – particularly in transition off turnovers, live-ball rebounds and even made baskets – something the visitors will need to do once again tonight.

Play Another Full 48 Minutes of Competitive Basketball

After leading by 19 points in the second quarter, Boston managed a few smaller runs in the second half to get within seven this past Sunday afternoon, but never any closer in its matinee loss. The Hornets competed the entire game, playing with a heavy amount of physicality on both ends of the floor. Boston will also be without starting point guard Kemba Walker (oblique) for this game and both Jayson Tatum (ankle) and Robert Williams III (knee) sat out last night’s home loss to Oklahoma City. Perhaps the door is open for Charlotte to take advantage of a short-handed Celtics rotation.

Preview Quote

“All these games are must-win games for us, so we’re going to treat every game like a playoff game until we clinch our playoff spot. For us to lose a game, it really hurts, but the good thing about the NBA is you got another game tomorrow to redeem yourself. I feel like we need to up our physicality even more and if we communicate on defense, our defense is really good. We just have to communicate.” – Miles Bridges following Tuesday night’s loss to Milwaukee

Final Thoughts

Charlotte might have kicked off the first of its two back-to-backs over the next six days with a 10-point loss, although it certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort against one of the Eastern Conference’s NBA Finals contenders. Whatever magic the Hornets utilized to spark their big win on Sunday against the Celtics, they’ll need to replicate that and then snap in order to close their back-to-back in winning fashion.

Additional Notes

F Jayson Tatum (left ankle impingement), G Kemba Walker (left oblique strain) and C Robert Williams III did not play for Boston in Tuesday night’s home loss to Oklahoma City. Walker has already been ruled out for tonight… Charlotte is 6-6 on the second leg of back-to-backs this season, while Boston is 5-7… The Hornets are 0-8 at TD Garden since the start of the 2016-17 NBA season (most recent win: 114-100 on April 11, 2016)… The Celtics have not lost back-to-back games to the Hornets since Dec. 10, 2014 – Jan. 5, 2015.

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