Spurs Edge Hornets in Heart-Breaking Finish
Charlotte Makes Late Run Before Last-Second Turnover Seals Tough Home Loss
The Charlotte Hornets compiled their best first-quarter showing of the season, but a veteran San Antonio Spurs team rallied once again, sending the purple and teal to a tough 104-103 defeat on Tuesday, March 3 at Spectrum Center.
Terry Rozier finished with a team-high 20 points (10 in the fourth), six rebounds and five assists in the loss. PJ Washington was right behind the veteran guard in the scoring department, putting up another 19 points (5-of-9 from three), four rebounds and three assists.
San Antonio trailed by 17 in the second before rallying to enter the fourth with a slim 77-76 lead. Both sides went back and forth over the final 12 minutes with the Spurs pulling ahead by seven at the 2:12 mark. The Hornets responded with a 6-0 run and after a missed DeMar DeRozan jumper and the clock winding down, Rozier drove to the basket and wrapped a pass around Bryn Forbes that was just a touch too hot to handle for Cody Martin.
“I thought we had a good look. I’ll have to watch and see why we didn’t get a shot off there,” said Coach Borrego afterwards. “I didn’t want them to set their defense. I thought we had them on their heels a little bit the last few possessions. We were getting to the rim. I just felt like letting our guys play in that moment. Terry got where we wanted him, but unfortunately we couldn’t get a shot off.”
Miles Bridges racked up 15 points and seven rebounds, while Cody Martin tied a career high with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Caleb Martin also had a new personal best with 12 points and Jalen McDaniels chipped in six points, a career-high-tying nine rebounds and a career-high five assists. Devonte’ Graham (left ankle soreness) missed just his second game of the campaign.
Dejounte Murray led the visitors with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the season-series-sweeping victory. Forbes (15 points), Patty Mills (13), DeRozan (12), Derrick White (12) and Rudy Gay (10) rounded out San Antonio’s six double-digit scorers. Tim Duncan served as acting Head Coach for San Antonio with Gregg Popovich out attending to personal business.
Charlotte shot 47.0% from the field and 41.4% from three (12-of-29), although had 17 giveaways leading to 19 San Antonio points. The hosts dominated on the glass, 47-33, which included a 15-6 advantage in offensive boards (21-3 differential in second-chance points).
Borrego added, “We weren’t perfect, but we played hard, competed tonight against a good team and had a chance to win it at the end, just too many turnovers. Without Devonte’, other guys were handling the ball and that was an issue for us with turnovers. In general, we fought and competed tonight.”
The Hornets will next host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday, March 5 for a 7 PM EST tipoff at Spectrum Center. Catch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen in on WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM or the Hornets app.