Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets flat at home as playoff-bound Philadelphia 76ers complete sweep

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, center, had a dominant game Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets. The Sixers won 119-102 at the Spectrum Center.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons, center, had a dominant game Sunday against the Charlotte Hornets. The Sixers won 119-102 at the Spectrum Center. AP

The wear-and-tear sure appears to be catching up to Kemba Walker. Meanwhile, Ben Simmons is peaking as the playoffs approach.

Following a week in which he set the Charlotte Hornets career scoring mark, Walker looked tired and ineffective in a 119-102 home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday. Simmons, a candidate for NBA Rookie of the Year, finished with 20 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds. J.J. Redick added 20 points, making five of his eight 3-pointers.

Walker finished with 10 points and was 2-of-7 from the field. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Malik Monk scored 16 each for the Hornets. Reserve center Willy Hernangomez added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

This 1 p.m. tip-off started less than 24 hours after a road loss to the Washington Wizards Saturday; Walker and most of his teammates looked overmatched against the playoff-bound Sixers.

The Sixers led by 20 with 10 1/2 minutes left, despite playing without two starters: All-Star center Joel Embiid and forward Dario Saric. The Sixers swept this four-game season series against the Hornets, with all four games coming in the last month.

Three who mattered

Simmons: He had 13 assists in the first three quarters.

Monk: His 3-point shooting makes a big difference in his overall productivity.

Redick: He was a terrific one-season signing, adding experience to a young roster.

Observations

▪  Hornets backup center Cody Zeller’s season is over. Coach Steve Clifford said there’s no point, with four games left and Zeller’s left knee still swollen, for him not to shut it down and rest the injury for several weeks.

Kemba
Charlotte Hornets point guard Kemba Walker is one of 35 NBA players invited to Las Vegas in July to participate in a Team USA mini-camp. Nell Redmond AP

▪  Hornets injuries are piling up, particularly at small forward. Treveon Graham is now in the NBA’s concussion protocol and Dwayne Bacon missed Sunday’s game with a right ankle sprain. Both players suffered those injuries in Sunday’s road loss to the Washington Wizards.

▪  Jeremy Lamb played Sunday, after missing Saturday’s game with a sore left foot.

▪  If his concussion ends Graham’s season, then it could also be the end of his time as a Hornet. He’s a free agent at the end of the season, and has certainly improved his NBA-wide resume. As close as the Hornets are to the luxury tax next season, spending money on Graham at small forward might not be a priority

Worth mentioning

▪  Only one Hornets home game left, and it’s another Sunday matinee — April 8 against the Indiana Pacers.

▪  If an NBA referee has to work on Easter, it’s at least nice to be at home. Haywoode Workman, who once starred at Myers Park, was one of three officials on Hornets-Sixers Sunday.

▪  Dwight Howard’s 49th double-double this season tied him with Larry Johnson for a Hornets record.

Report card

C- OFFENSE: Other than get to the foul line frequently, there wasn’t a lot the Hornets did well scoring-wise Sunday.

F DEFENSE: Simmons’ size at point guard creates a huge matchup problem, but the Hornets did little to disrupt a Sixers team missing two of its top four scorers.

C- COACHING: The schedule and injuries were factors, but the Hornets didn’t put up much resistance.

76ers 119, Hornets 102

PHILADELPHIA (119)—Covington 7-21 2-2 17, Ilyasova 5-8 2-2 16, Johnson 1-5 2-2 4, Simmons 10-17 0-0 20, Redick 7-15 1-1 20, Holmes 3-3 0-0 6, Fultz 2-5 0-0 4, McConnell 3-6 0-0 6, Korkmaz 1-1 0-0 3, Anderson 0-3 1-2 1, Belinelli 9-10 1-1 22. Totals 48-94 9-10 119.

CHARLOTTE (102)—Kidd-Gilchrist 6-13 4-4 16, Williams 2-9 0-0 5, Howard 4-7 2-5 10, Walker 2-7 5-5 10, Batum 3-9 2-2 8, Kaminsky 3-8 3-4 10, Hernangomez 2-3 11-14 15, Monk 6-13 0-0 16, Stone 0-0 0-0 0, Lamb 5-13 0-0 12. Totals 33-82 27-34 102.

Philadelphia

28

32

31

28

119

Charlotte

29

22

27

24

102

3-Point Goals—Philadelphia 14-32 (Redick 5-8, Ilyasova 4-7, Belinelli 3-4, Korkmaz 1-1, Covington 1-9, Johnson 0-1, Anderson 0-2), Charlotte 9-30 (Monk 4-9, Lamb 2-4, Williams 1-3, Walker 1-5, Kaminsky 1-5, Hernangomez 0-1, Batum 0-3). Fouled Out—Ilyasova. Rebounds—Philadelphia 44 (Covington 11), Charlotte 40 (Hernangomez 11). Assists—Philadelphia 36 (Simmons 15), Charlotte 17 (Walker 4). Total Fouls—Philadelphia 24, Charlotte 13. A—17,005 (19,077).

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