Charlotte Hornets

Tough defense provides Charlotte Hornets’ first road victory

Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard (12) has his shot blocked by Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) in the first half of Monday night’s game in Memphis.
Charlotte Hornets center Dwight Howard (12) has his shot blocked by Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) in the first half of Monday night’s game in Memphis. AP

The Charlotte Hornets played shut-down defense in the fourth quarter for their first road victory of the season, 104-99 over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum.

Hornets point guard Kemba Walker (27 points and six assists) dribbled through a Grizzlies press late, feeding small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for a dunk with two seconds left. The Hornets improved to 4-3. The Grizzlies dropped to 5-2.

Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb (17 points and eight rebounds) made three of four free throws in the last 30 seconds.

The Hornets went on a 15-4 run, completed on a Kidd-Gilchris layup with 3 minutes, 41 seconds left, also off a Walker assist. That gave the Hornets a 94-93 lead, after Charlotte once trailed by as many as 15 points.

Memphis’ Tyreke Evans’ 3-pointer with under two minutes cut Hornets’ lead to one. But his teammate, Mike Conley, missed an open 3-pointer, then fouled Walker with just over a minute left. Walker made both free throws.

This was the Hornets’ third consecutive victory in Memphis. The Hornets lost their previous two road games this season, at Detroit and at Milwaukee.

Three who mattered

Lamb: He has not failed to score 15 points in any game this season and has 14 rebounds in his past two games.

Walker: He tied Larry Johnson for most games of 20 or more points in Hornets history (192).

Tyreke Evans: Memphis reserve attacked the rim aggressively, earning five free throws.

Observations

▪  Hornets power forward Frank Kaminsky played Monday, after missing Sunday’s victory over the Orlando Magic with an illness. Kaminsky’s availability wasn’t determined until about a half hour before game time.

▪  For the Hornets, this was the first set of games on back-to-back nights this season. The NBA is trying to cut down on that, particularly four games in five nights. The Hornets’ next back-to-back is Nov. 17 (at Chicago) and Nov. 18 (home vs. Clippers).

▪  Reserve center Cody Zeller had 11 points and eight rebounds in his second game back from a knee bruise.

▪  Charlotte’s bench was outscored by Memphis’ reserves 28-16 in the first half. The Grizzlies also scored 14 fast-break points in the first half.

▪  Hornets coach Steve Clifford chose to have small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist guard Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley. Conley missed nine of his first 12 shots from the field.

Worth mentioning

▪  Walker was charged with his fourth foul midway through the third quarter, and also got a technical foul. Thin as the Hornets are at point guard, Walker foul trouble is a big problem right now.

▪  Hornets center Dwight Howard had a particularly rough start, missing eight of his first nine shots. He finished with seven rebounds, first time this season he hasn’t reached 10 or more.

▪  After Wednesday’s home game against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Hornets will head out on a four-game, nine-day road trip.

Report card

B OFFENSE: They shot well from 3-point range (7-of-17), with rookie Malik Monk making three of those.

A DEFENSE: They held the Grizzlies to 34 percent from the field, with star center Marc Gasol shooting 4-of-15.

A+ COACHING: They won on the road, in the second game of a back-to-back, with a shorthanded group.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

Hornets 104, Grizzlies 99

CHARLOTTE (104)—Kidd-Gilchrist 5-5 0-0 10, Williams 3-6 2-2 9, Howard 1-9 0-2 2, Walker 7-15 12-13 27, Lamb 6-13 4-6 17, Zeller 4-7 3-3 11, Kaminsky 4-9 0-1 9, Monk 5-15 0-0 13, Graham 1-3 2-2 4, Bacon 1-7 0-0 2. Totals 37-89 23-29 104.

MEMPHIS (99)—Ennis III 4-7 2-2 11, Martin 1-5 2-4 4, Gasol 4-15 0-1 10, Conley 4-18 8-10 16, Harrison 2-4 2-2 7, Brooks 4-7 2-3 11, Parsons 3-7 2-2 9, Wright 3-6 2-2 8, Chalmers 1-7 2-2 4, Evans 6-17 5-5 19. Totals 32-93 27-33 99.

Charlotte

31

20

22

31

104

Memphis

31

26

25

17

99

3-Point Goals—Charlotte 7-17 (Monk 3-7, Kaminsky 1-1, Lamb 1-1, Williams 1-2, Walker 1-5, Graham 0-1), Memphis 8-35 (Evans 2-6, Gasol 2-8, Brooks 1-2, Ennis III 1-2, Harrison 1-2, Parsons 1-4, Chalmers 0-2, Martin 0-2, Conley 0-7). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Charlotte 56 (Williams, Zeller, Lamb 8), Memphis 48 (Evans 10). Assists—Charlotte 15 (Walker 6), Memphis 17 (Conley 6). Total Fouls—Charlotte 22, Memphis 22. Technicals—Walker, Kaminsky, Gasol. A—15,771 (18,119).

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