Spurs Pull Away in Fourth Quarter for Win Over Short-Handed Hornets
Rozier Registers Another 30-PT Game, Charlotte Leaves Everything on the Court in Loss
A depleted Charlotte Hornets squad fought as long as possible on Sunday night before running out of gas in the fourth quarter in a 122-110 home loss to the San Antonio Spurs at Spectrum Center.
Terry Rozier had another masterful showing for the hosts, finishing with a game-high 33 points (16 in the first quarter) on 14-of-29 shooting, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in 40 minutes of action. Rozier is now the first Hornets player to score 30 points in three consecutive outings since Kemba Walker had a five-game stretch from Feb. 2-11, 2019.
Charlotte entered the night without a pair of starters in Gordon Hayward (lower back discomfort) and PJ Washington (Health and Safety Protocols), as well both Cody and Caleb Martin (Health and Safety Protocols). The team then lost Devonte’ Graham at halftime (knee patella femoral discomfort), leaving just seven rotational players for the final two frames.
After both teams went on major runs in the opening three quarters, they then entered the fourth tied at 89-89. The Hornets inched ahead with a one-point lead at the 10:26 mark before the Spurs responded with a 20-6 run to go up 108-99 with just over three minutes remaining. Charlotte continued to claw and fight until the very end, but just couldn’t mount a comeback.
“I’m proud of their effort. They battled and gave me and their teammates everything they had tonight,” said Coach Borrego afterwards. “They were competitive, they left it all out there. We had guys playing 40 minutes who aren’t accustomed to it. We never gave in. Obviously, there’s things we have to clean up and look, but in general tonight, this was about their effort and energy. They competed tonight and I can live with that.”
LaMelo Ball racked up 17 points, 12 rebounds, eight assists and three steals, becoming the first Charlotte rookie since Walter Herrmann in 2007 to score at least 15 points in seven straight games (also marked his second consecutive double-double and sixth overall of the season). Reserves Malik Monk (23; 5-of-6 from three) and Bismack Biyombo (11) each had 10+ points and Cody Zeller double-doubled for the third time this season (10 points and 12 rebounds).
San Antonio got 20-point games from both Dejounte Murray (26 and 12 rebounds) and Derrick White (25), leading to a fifth win in six appearances. Keldon Johnson (18), Rudy Gay (12), Lonnie Walker IV (11) and Patty Mills (10) were also in double figures, while Jakob Poeltl chipped in eight points, 12 rebounds (eight offensive) and a game-high four blocks.
The Spurs dominated the second quarter by a 47-26 margin after shooting 77% from the field, putting up a total that tied the second-most points ever allowed in a single frame by the Hornets. Charlotte won the overall rebounding battle by six (49-43), although had 18 total turnovers for 27 opposing points, compared to just nine giveaways for 14 points by the Spurs.
The Hornets will next square off against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Feb. 17 starting at 7 PM EST at Spectrum Center. Catch the action on Fox Sports Southeast, the Fox Sports GO app and WFNZ 610 AM or 102.5 FM.