The Charlotte Hornets Unable to Contain the Memphis Grizzlies Losing 131-107

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Wednesday night, the Charlotte Hornets (10-28) were seeking to snap their two-game losing streak with a matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies (24-13).

The key inactives for tonight’s contest included Gordon Hayward (left hamstring soreness), Kelly Oubre (torn ligament in left hand), and Theo Maledon. As for the Grizzlies, they were without Brandon Clarke (left hip soreness) and Danny Green who is still recovering from a left knee surgery. On a side note, Cody Martin returned to the lineup after having missed time due to an arthroscopic surgery in early November.

From the opening-tip, the Hornets struggled both offensively as they shot 33% from the field while defensively they allowed the Grizzlies 40 points off highly efficient shooting: 58% from the field and 44% from three. In addition to that, the Hornets found themselves down by 14 points when the Grizzlies jumped out to a 26-12 run in which they improved on in the second quarter. The Hornets allowed the Grizzlies to go another  large scoring run 22-11 which allowed them to amount to a lead as large as 29 points. The first half had concluded with the Grizzlies up 76-47 with Ja Morant (19) and Dillon Brooks (15) leading the way, combining for 34 points, while LaMelo Ball was mostly doing the heavy lifting with 15 points and with other Hornets’ near the double digit mark.

During the second half, the Hornets had improved their play tremendously as they contained the red-hot Grizzlies to 26 points off of 42% shooting from the field and 17% from three. Meanwhile, the Hornets improved their efficiency from 31% shooting in the second quarter to 48% in the third. Carrying over from the third quarter performance, the Hornets newfound efficiency on the offensive end was able to translate into 34 points off of 52% shooting from the field and 33% from three. However, the Hornets were unable to keep the same effort defensively as the Grizzlies scored 29 points shooting 52% from the field and 40% from downtown. Ultimately, the Hornets had improved their level of play too late into the game as the Grizzlies early lead proved to be insurmountable as they cruised their way to victory 131-107. 

LaMelo Ball had himself with a double-double, putting up 23 points and 12 assists while the Hornets also had multiple players scoring in double-digits in the scoring column: Terry Rozier with 21 points, Jalen McDaniels with 16 points and 7 rebounds, and PJ Washington with 15 points. 

As for the Grizzlies, Ja Morant posted 23 points and 8 assists while receiving help from Desmond Bane with 19 points and 11 rebounds, Brooks with 18 points and Jarren Jackson Jr. with 17 points and 8 rebounds. 

Post Game Interviews

LaMelo Ball

Cody Martin

Coach Steve Clifford

What’s Next?

The Charlotte Hornets (10-29) will embark on their 5 game road trip, starting off with the Milwaukee Bucks (25-13). The Bucks are currently 16-4 at home while averaging 112.7 points per game with their defense allowing 110.8 points per game, ranking as 6th across the league. The Hornets will have a difficult task in containing the former MVP as Giannis Antetokounmpo in his last 4 contests is averaging 43.3 points per game, 18.3 rebounds per game, and 7.3 rebounds per game. 

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