Hornets Summer Work Evident in Opening Win in Vegas
Bacon, Graham and Bridges Combine for 59 Points in Victory
By Matt Rochinski
Since the 2018-19 season, it’s been natural to see Dwayne Bacon, Devonte’ Graham and Miles Bridges either on the practice court at at the Novant Health Training Facility, inside the weight room pushing each other to their limits or even just walking the halls at Spectrum Center.
They’ve been putting in work all offseason.
On July 5 at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, their efforts began to show the first sign of paying off as the three combined for 59 of the Hornets 93 points in Charlotte’s 93-85 victory over Golden State in both teams’ first game of the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League 2019.
Bacon led the way with 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting (45.0 percent), to go with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Bacon set the tone early on, scoring 11 points in the first quarter, and was impressive throughout showcasing his ability to score at all three levels - in the paint, from midrange and outside the arc - all areas of his game he’s been working on in the offseason.
“It feels good,” Bacon said after the win. “(The Hornets) wanted me to come out here and play and I wanted to come out and compete. I’ve been working all summer and it feels good just to play against a different team now. It feels great right now.”
All three had to be feeling good about their performance in this one, particularly late, as Charlotte erased a 79-75 fourth-quarter deficit with a 13-0 run to put the Hornets up 88-79. Bacon, Graham and Bridges’ defensive efforts in the fourth help Charlotte finish the game on an 18-6 run on the way to the win. Graham picked up his offensive game in the fourth as well, tallying 12 of his 21 points in the deciding final frame.
“Devonte’ was huge for us in the fourth quarter,” Hornets Summer League Head Coach Ron Nored said. “He made some big shots. I though Bac(on) steadied us throughout the game getting to the rim. I’d like to see us get to the rim even more and pass more.”
Bridges, meanwhile, did a little bit of everything for the Hornets, filling the stat sheet with 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting (54.5 percent), while also grabbing seven rebounds, handing out two assists, swiping one steal and blocking one shot.
Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 15 points on 6-of-19 shooting (31.6 percent).
The Hornets will next take the court at 3:30 p.m. EST on Sunday against San Antonio at Thomas & Mack Center. The game will be broadcast on the Hornets app or on WFNZ and can be seen on ESPN2.