Hornets Highlights vs 76ers - 11/23/22
Richards Posts Another Double-Double Off Bench, Charlotte Defeats Philadelphia
As currently constructed, the Charlotte Hornets are going to be at their best when they’re getting stops, creating turnovers and then turning those extra possessions into fast-break opportunities. Being at their ‘best’ for much of the fourth quarter on Friday night propelled the squad to a much-needed 107-101 home win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Despite going scoreless in the first quarter, Terry Rozier still led the victors with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting and six assists in over 40 minutes of action. Nine of these points came in the fourth quarter on a perfect 4-of-4 clip, as Rozier played the entire frame without heading to the bench once.
Trailing by eight at the eight-minute mark of the third, Charlotte ripped off a 22-10 run to take a 79-75 lead with a quarter to go. Another 12-2 stretch midway through the fourth pushed the Hornets ahead by nine, but Philadelphia countered with an 11-4 span to make it a two-point game with 1:55 remaining. Back-to-back big-time buckets from Rozier gave Charlotte some breathing room down the stretch and a late PJ Washington dunk wrapped up the victory.
“Terry was terrific in that stretch,” said Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford after the win. “Théo [Maledon] played really well. He did a lot of good things. Nick Richards, without his play in the first half, we would’ve been down eight, 10 points at halftime. He really kind of saved us.”
Added Rozier, “We just made a lot of toughness plays down the stretch and got the win. My confidence never leaves me. I’m always a guy to go home, look myself in the mirror and if I made mistakes, I’m always going to be on myself. My coaches and my teammates, they do a great job of believing in me. When you see that, it makes you want to go out there and play at your best. I’m just happy we got the win.”
Richards tallied 13 points and 13 rebounds in 21 minutes, becoming just the third player in franchise history to double-double in three consecutive games off the bench. Mason Plumlee (11 points and 13 rebounds) also double-doubled, Washington finished with 19 points and Maledon chipped in four points, three assists, two key steals and a plus-11 plus-minus rating filling in for the injured Dennis Smith Jr. (left ankle sprain) in the second half.
In the fourth, the Hornets forced six Philadelphia turnovers, scored 24 of their 28 points in the paint on 80% shooting and won the rebounding battle by two. Any win is a good win in the NBA, but sealing the deal in clutch time – something Charlotte failed to do in each of its past two outings – does feel extra satisfying. Said Plumlee, “In some ways, it’s more rewarding to execute down the stretch and have something that wasn’t a runaway. I’m really happy with our group and how we finished.”
Shake Milton (22) and De’Anthony Melton (20) both had 20-point showings for the 76ers, who were without their three leading scorers in Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Tobias Harris had 19 points and former-Hornet Montrezl Harrell scored a season-high 16 points.
This Hornets’ victory snapped a five-game home losing streak, as well as an eight-game drought in the head-to-head series at Spectrum Center against the 76ers. Charlotte had dropped 16 in a row to Philadelphia from Jan. 13, 2017 – Dec. 8, 2021, but has since won two of three meetings.
Coming up next for the Hornets will be another home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, Nov. 25 beginning at 5 PM ET. Follow along with all the action on Bally Sports Southeast and WFNZ FM 92.7.