Hornets Start Better, Offense Then Stalls in 2nd Half

Bridges Records 4th 30-PT Game of the Season, Hayward Double-Doubles in Loss
by Sam Perley

More Coverage: Game Gallery

Over the course of their first eight outings this season, the Charlotte Hornets have been one of the NBA’s slowest-starting teams and the best at finishing them. Wednesday night though, that trend was somewhat flipped upside down, with the opposing Golden State Warriors pulling away in the second half for a 114-92 home win.

Charlotte got off to a 26-21 lead after the opening frame, but Golden State won the next two quarters by a combined margin of 59-41, which included a 27-15 differential in the third. Down 13 heading into the fourth, the visitors cut the deficit to within six at the 5:23 mark before going scoreless the rest of the way amidst a game-ending 16-0 Warriors run.

“That third quarter cost us,” said Head Coach James Borrego after the loss. “[Golden State’s] defense was really good. Just too many turnovers, careless possessions, we could not get the ball to the rim. We went about nine minutes without a field goal [in the third quarter]. I think we tried defensively to stay in it. Our defense gave us a chance, obviously our offense struggled.”

Miles Bridges finished with a season-high-tying 32 points, marking his seventh career 30-point performance and fourth already this campaign. Gordon Hayward double-doubled with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Jordan Poole led the victorious Warriors with a season-high 31 points and seven three-pointers.

Golden State’s bench outscored its Charlotte counterpart by a whopping 42-11 margin and overall as a team, connected on 18-of-45 three-point attempts (40%). The Hornets, who went 10-of-36 from deep (28%) and just 5-of-27 on non-Bridges shots, also lost PJ Washington to a hyperextended left elbow midway through the second half.

There hasn’t been any common thread with the Hornets’ poor starts prior to Wednesday night, which actually featured their first lead at the end of the first quarter this season. All and all in this loss, the good was really good for Charlotte and the bad was pretty bad. Progress was certainly made in some areas and now, it’s about putting the total package together.

“The 3-0 start feels like a ways ago,” added Borrego. “We’re capable of that. We can play at that level and we’ve shown that. We just have to be more consistent with our effort, with our execution. In a number of these games, it’s not all four quarters that we played poorly to get a loss. Sometimes, it’s just one bad quarter. In this league, your margin of error is so small and our margin for error is very small. To win in this league against good teams, you have to play for 48 minutes and four quarters of basketball and we’re just not there yet.”

The squad’s all-Western Conference trek now heads to Sacramento for a matchup with the Kings on Friday night beginning at 10 PM ET.


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