Summer League Ends for Hornets After Loss to Toronto

By Sam Perley, hornets.com

Another tightly-contested Summer League outing for the Charlotte Hornets didn’t fall their way as they were eliminated from the competition with an 87-84 overtime loss to the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, July 14 in Las Vegas, NV.

Dwayne Bacon erupted for a team-Summer-League-high 28 points, five rebounds and two assists in the loss. The Florida State product narrowly missed the first 30-point performance by a Charlotte player in Summer League play since Byron Mullens’ franchise-record 33-point outing in 2012.

In a game that featured 11 lead changes and 12 ties, both teams were knotted at 82-82 before rookie Rawle Alkins knocked down a big three-pointer with 31.0 seconds left to put the Raptors in front. Terry Henderson had a game-tying attempt in the closing moments, but couldn’t get it to drop as the Hornets fell for the second time in five outings in Vegas.

“I just loved our fight,” said Hornets Summer League Head Coach Jay Hernandez after the game. “We weren’t shooting the ball well at all today. 3-of-23 from three. If you don’t shoot the ball that well, you’re not supposed to be in overtime games. I just really liked our fight. On defense, our guys kept communicating.”

Joe Chealey had his best outing of the tournament, putting up 14 points, nine rebounds and four assists. Miles Bridges tallied a double-double with 18 points and team-high 11 rebounds to go along with four assists and a game-high four steals. The rookie’s four takeaways matched the second-highest single-game total at Summer League in franchise history.

Not only were the Hornets without injured starters Malik Monk (thumb) and Devonte’ Graham (knee), but also did not have center Willy Hernangomez, who recently returned to his native Spain to attend his grandfather’s funeral.

“Missing Willy today was hard,” added Hernandez. “We want to send our condolences to his family at this time. We know it’s a difficult time for him. He was our leading rebounder and top scorer. We missed some guys, but I thought all the guys that came in did a great job.”

Hernangomez reached double-double status in each of Charlotte’s first four Summer League games and had been one of the competition’s most consistent performers thus far. 

On the other side, Alkins lead the Raptors in both scoring (25 points) and rebounding (11), while Malachi Richardson (14 points), Shevon Thompson (12 points), Giddy Potts (10 points) and Marquis Teague (10 points) also all reached double figures for the Raptors.

Charlotte’s Summer League schedule is completed and the Raptors now advance to take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Summer League Quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon.