Hornets Rally for 18-Point Comeback Win in Minnesota
Graham, Monk, Bridges Combine for 73 PTS; Charlotte Goes 2-0 on Road Trip
The Charlotte Hornets overcame an 18-point second-quarter deficit and broke away late in the fourth to enter the All-Star Break with a 115-108 road win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Feb. 12 in Minneapolis, MN.
Devonte’ Graham led the way again with a game-high-tying 28 points and eight assists, knocking down 5-of-11 attempts from distance in the process. Malik Monk (25 points) and Miles Bridges (20 points) both had 20-point outings as well for a Hornets squad missing starting guard Terry Rozier (left knee soreness) for the first time this season.
Charlotte trailed by 18 points in the second, but strung together an 18-2 run between the third and fourth quarters to take a 93-89 lead with 8:47 remaining. Minnesota pulled ahead, 100-99, about four minutes later, but the Hornets responded with a 12-2 burst (Bismack Biyombo actually inadvertently tipped in the only Timberwolves basket during this stretch) to take a decisive nine-point lead with just 26.2 seconds left on the clock.
The Graham-Monk-Bridges trio combined for 24 of the team’s 34 fourth-quarter points. Over the final three minutes, Bridges had a stretch of five consecutive Charlotte points, Monk recorded back-to-back blocks with Charlotte holding a four-point lead and Graham knocked down a 28-foot three-pointer to stretch the lead to seven with under 60 seconds remaining.
“We never relaxed,” said Monk. “They made a little run, but we never gave up, never hung our heads. We just stuck with it. I think that’s why we got the win. I’ve been attacking, attacking and everything else just opens up for me and my teammates. They made the right plays and I made some of the right plays, too. I just have to keep it up.”
“We upped our physicality. We knew it was going to start on the defensive end with stops,” added Coach Borrego. “We amped up our defense in the second half, had individual pride, more physicality. Made a few adjustments in the pick-and-roll. Give our guys a ton of credit. They didn’t hang their heads. They came out in the second half with a great spirit and closed out this game.”
Biyombo racked up 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season. Jalen McDaniels scored in double figures for the first time in his NBA career, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting and six rebounds, while Caleb Martin added eight points in his first-ever NBA start. Cody Zeller was unavailable to play for Charlotte.
Newcomers Malik Beasley (28 points) and D’Angelo Russell (26 points) both had 20-point outings for the hosts, who were without starting center Karl-Anthony Towns (left wrist injury). Russell added a game-high 11 assists for his second double-double of the campaign, Juancho Hernagómez had 16 points and game-high 12 rebounds (sixth career double-double) and Naz Reid was also in double figures with 12 points.
Charlotte finished the night shooting 46.7% from the field and 41.2% from three (14-of-34). The visitors had 14 turnovers, although just four came in the second half leading to a mere four Minnesota points. Overall, the Hornets outscored the Timberwolves, 65-42, across the final two quarters of play.
The Hornets will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 20 when they face the Chicago Bulls starting at 8 PM EST at the United Center. Watch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen in on WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM or the Hornets app.