The Charlotte Hornets sprung a leak in the first half of this game defensively.
The Hornets gave up 69 first-half points and allowed the Memphis Grizzlies to shoot 58 percent from the field and 63 percent from 3-point range in that span. Ultimately that resulted in a 105-90 Horents loss at Spectrum Center.
This was the Hornets’ second consecutive loss, following Saturday’s overtime fall to the New Orleans Pelicans. It left them with an 8-5 record. The Hornets trailed by as many as 26 points.
Hornets point guard Kemba Walker’s string of 11 consecutive games scoring 20 or more points came to an end when he left the game with about three minutes left. Walker finished with 17 points.
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Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley finished with 31 points. The Grizzlies improved to 9-5.
Three who mattered
Mike Conley: He outplayed Walker, which isn’t easy these days.
Frank Kaminsky: He had 20 points entering the fourth quarter.
Marc Gasol: He set the tone early for the Grizzlies and filled the first-half box score.
▪ The Hornets played without starting center Cody Zeller, who missed his second consecutive game with a sprained right shoulder. The MRI he had Sunday showed no structural damage and Zeller said at shootaround he is on the mend.
▪ Jeremy Lamb (hamstring), Treveon Graham (Achilles) and Christian Wood (ankle) were also unavailable to play.
▪ The Grizzlies using Zach Randolph as a reserve is very similar to the role Al Jefferson accepted with the Hornets the second half of last season. New Grizzlies coach Dave Fizdale was concerned about his bench’s scoring ability, so he asked Randolph to be a reserve this season.
▪ How hectic is the Hornets’ schedule these days? Tuesday will be the only true practice they have during a 12-day span in which they play eight games. Question is whether coach Steve Clifford will have 10 players healthy enough to practice.
▪ Marco Belinelli’s seven 3-pointers Saturday against New Orleans was one short of tying the Hornets record. Troy Daniels and Ben Gordon each had eight 3s in a single game.
▪ Zeller now leads the NBA in field-goal percentage this season at 62.3 percent.
▪ Belinelli entered the Grizzlies game fourth in the NBA in 3-point percentage at 47.8 percent.
▪ Hornets owner Michael Jordan will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday at the White House, along with 21 other Americans.
C OFFENSE: It showed some life in the third quarter, outscoring the Grizzlies 26-15. Other than that, it was pretty awful.
F DEFENSE: That first half was pitiful, as far as the Hornets’ inability to keep the Grizzlies from doing anything they wanted offensively.
C- COACHING: This brutal stretch of eight games in 12 days could take a toll this week.
Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell