Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets’ horrible shooting leads to decisive loss to San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs’ Danny Green (14) shoots past the Charlotte Hornets’ Nicolas Batum (5) during the first half of Saturday’s game. Hornets starters Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went a combined 0-of-12 from the field in the first half of Charlotte’s 106-86 loss.
San Antonio Spurs’ Danny Green (14) shoots past the Charlotte Hornets’ Nicolas Batum (5) during the first half of Saturday’s game. Hornets starters Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went a combined 0-of-12 from the field in the first half of Charlotte’s 106-86 loss. AP

Home games should be good for a team’s shooting percentage. Nothing like that for the Charlotte Hornets Saturday.

A gruesome first half, in which the Hornets assembled just 29 points off 10-of-45 shooting, set the tone in a 106-86 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at Spectrum Center. The loss dropped the Hornets to 8-11, while the Spurs improved to 12-7. The Hornets had won their previous three games at Spectrum Center.

San Antonio big men LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol scored 17 each. Kemba Walker finished with 18 points for the Hornets, while center Dwight Howard added 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The Hornets finished this game shooting 37 percent from the field and 16 percent (4-of-25) from 3-point range.

The Hornets don’t play again until Wednesday in Toronto, the first of two road games. The Hornets play the Heat in Miami Friday.

Three who mattered

Walker: After an injury scare, he had some highlight-reel drives to the rim.

Howard: This was his fifth consecutive points-rebounds double-double.

Aldridge: He was really the only player who was sustainably good throughout this game.

Bacon.jpg
Charlotte Hornets' Dwayne Bacon (7) drives to the basket past San Antonio Spurs' Davis Bertans (42) during the first half of Saturday’s game. Chuck Burton AP

Observations

▪  The NBA fined Howard for the second time this season for an obscene gesture during a game. Howard was fined $35,000 for the gesture, during Friday’s road loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was previously fined $25,000 for a gesture during the Nov. 5 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Howard has six technical fouls this season.

▪  Guard Nic Batum started for the Hornets, after missing the Cavs game and the second half of the Washington Wizards game, with a re-injury of his left elbow. Batum missed six weeks initially, after tearing a ligment; this injury was far less serious.

WalkerInjury.jpg
Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker (15) left Saturday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs in the third quarter with a bruised left shoulder. Walker returned to the Hornets’ bench a few minutes later. Chuck Burton AP

▪  Both the Hornets and the Spurs started off so poorly on offense that the Hornets shot 5-of-23 from the field in the first quarter, and still led at the end of the period 15-14.

▪  The Hornets scored just 29 points in the first half. The franchise record for a lowest-scoring first half was 24. The Hornets shot 10-of-45 (22 percent).

▪  Walker left the game in the third quarter with a bruised left shoulder. Walker returned to the Hornets’ bench a few minutes later.

Worth mentioning

▪  Star Wars fan Howard did quite a Chewbacca imitation during a taped video shown during a first-half break.

▪  Hornets starters Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went a combined 0-of-12 from the field in the first half.

▪  Aldridge was the only player for either team who reached double-figures scoring by halftime (11 points).

Report card

F OFFENSE: The first-half shooting was reminiscent of the 7-59 season in 2011-12.

C DEFENSE: The Spurs got the ball to the paint on a night when neither team made 3s.

C COACHING: This team looked flat one night after a one-point loss in Cleveland.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

Spurs 106, Hornets 86

SAN ANTONIO (106)—Anderson 6-8 2-2 14, Aldridge 6-13 5-5 17, Gasol 5-14 5-6 17, Mills 3-5 2-3 10, Green 3-7 0-0 7, Bertans 1-2 0-0 2, Gay 6-10 3-3 15, Lauvergne 0-0 0-0 0, Murray 2-4 2-2 6, Forbes 2-8 1-2 5, Ginobili 4-8 2-2 11, Paul 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 39-80 22-25 106.

CHARLOTTE (86)—Kidd-Gilchrist 1-8 1-1 3, Williams 1-4 0-0 3, Howard 3-10 4-7 10, Walker 8-12 1-2 18, Batum 1-7 3-3 5, O’Bryant III 2-2 0-0 4, Zeller 4-5 0-0 8, Kaminsky 4-10 2-2 12, Carter-Williams 0-5 2-2 2, Monk 1-3 2-3 4, Lamb 4-11 4-4 12, Graham 1-3 1-2 3, Bacon 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 31-84 20-26 86.

San Antonio

14

26

32

34

106

Charlotte

15

14

29

28

86

3-Point Goals—San Antonio 6-25 (Mills 2-4, Gasol 2-7, Ginobili 1-3, Green 1-3, Aldridge 0-1, Bertans 0-1, Forbes 0-3, Gay 0-3), Charlotte 4-25 (Kaminsky 2-5, Williams 1-2, Walker 1-4, Graham 0-1, Bacon 0-1, Carter-Williams 0-2, Monk 0-2, Lamb 0-3, Batum 0-5). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—San Antonio 44 (Gasol, Aldridge, Green 7), Charlotte 42 (Howard 11). Assists—San Antonio 22 (Aldridge, Gay 4), Charlotte 20 (Walker 5). Total Fouls—San Antonio 19, Charlotte 19. Technicals—San Antonio coach Spurs (Defensive three second), Charlotte coach Hornets (Defensive three second). A—18,597 (19,077).

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