Howard Dominates as Hornets Stay Hot at Home
Dwight Drops 25 Points, Grabs 20 Rebounds and Blocks 4 Shots
By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com
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Dwight Howard had arguably one of the most dominant big-man performances in Charlotte basketball history, finishing with 25 points, 20 rebounds and four blocked shots and Frank Kaminsky added 24 points off the bench as the Hornets topped Minnesota, 118-102, on Nov. 20 in Charlotte. The win moves the Hornets to 6-2 overall at Spectrum Center.
On Saturday against the Clippers, the Hornets starters came up big in closing time, ending the game on an 18-4 run to come away with a 102-87 victory, ending their six-game skid. On Monday against the Timberwolves, it was the reserves who closed this one out early in the fourth quarter, using an 11-5 run to push a four-point lead to double digits and allowing the Hornets to open the game up in the final moments. In the opening 4:09 of the fourth quarter, Frank Kaminsky scored six points to lead a reserve unit of Michael Carter-Williams, Dwayne Bacon, Jeremy Lamb and Cody Zeller as they shot 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from the field, outrebounded the Timberwolves, 5-2, and held Minnesota to 22.2 percent (2-of-9) as Charlotte’s lead swelled to double-digits on the way to the win.
Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Dwight Howard gear here)
Dwight Howard became the first player in Charlotte franchise history to record 25 points, bring down 20 rebounds and block four shots in the same game. It was the first 20+ point, 20+ rebound game in Charlotte since Al Jefferson (12/28/13) and the 49th such game in Howard’s career as he continues to be the NBA’s all-time leader in this category. It was also Howard’s third 20+ rebound performance of the season, tying a franchise record of 20+ rebound games in a single season (Rambis, 88-89; Okafor, 06-07). It also marked Howard’s 731st double-digit rebounding game, moving him into sixth place all-time in the NBA since 1963-64, passing Charles Barkley (730). Howard has registered three 20+ rebound games, eight double-doubles and five games with 15+ points and 15+ rebounds in the first 16 games of the season. His four blocks also tied a season high set on Oct. 23 in Milwaukee.
Timberwolves Player of the Game
Karl Anthony-Towns recorded his 13th double-double of the season with 18 points and 12 rebounds. He added two assists and a blocked shot in 30 minutes.
Reserve Frank Kaminsky scored 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting, good for a new season high (previous: 21 against Atlanta on Oct. 20). This is his fourth game with 15+ points off the bench this year. He had 13 such games in 2016-17. Kaminsky also shot 4-of-5 from long range, good for a new season high in three-point field goals made (previous: 3 (2x))… Jeremy Lamb scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting off the bench and added five rebounds, three assists and a steal, giving him 11 games of 15+ points this season… Nicolas Batum dropped a season-high 17 points while adding four rebounds and two assists. His previous season high was 16 points against Cleveland on Nov. 15… Kemba Walker and Cody Zeller rounded out Charlotte’s double-digit scorers with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Quote of the Night
“Tonight he controlled the paint at both ends of the floor. He was a force in the pain on offense and his pick and roll defense, all of his defenses, his team defense was terrific. He controlled the game, he controlled the paint… He’s a confident player. You’re talking about a guy who is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, he’s an eight-time All-Star, I don’t think confidence is the issue. I think it’s comfort level, purpose of play, having a good chemistry with the guys he’s on the floor with.” - Head Coach Steve Clifford on Dwight Howard
The Hornets three-game homestand concludes with a 7 p.m. tip on Wednesday against Washington at Spectrum Center. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.