Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets overcome shaky first half, beat Philadelphia 76ers

Philadelphia 76ers' Jahlil Okafor, left, drives against Charlotte Hornets' Frank Kaminsky during the first half of Wednesday’s NBA game in Charlotte.
Philadelphia 76ers' Jahlil Okafor, left, drives against Charlotte Hornets' Frank Kaminsky during the first half of Wednesday’s NBA game in Charlotte. AP

It took until the third quarter before the Charlotte Hornets reminded the Philadelphia 76ers they’re the Philadelphia 76ers.

Too many turnovers and too little defense had the Hornets trailing by as many as 13 points in the first half. All that changed in the third period, when the Hornets forced the Sixers into eight turnovers and scored 39 points in a 109-93 victory at Spectrum Center.

The Hornets improved to 3-1 after reaching 100 points with seven minutes left in this game. The 76ers, a team lacking in experience and full of injuries, fell to 0-4.

This was the Hornets’ sixth consecutive victory over the 76ers and seventh consecutive home victory in this series.

Three who mattered

Nic Batum: He scored 17 points, on 6-of-8 shooting, in the third-quarter comeback.

Kemba Walker: His 12 first-half points were key to keeping the Hornets within striking distance.

Frank Kaminsky: He struck a good balance between taking open jump shots and working the ball into the lane.

Observations

▪  The Hornets entered Wednesday’s game leading the NBA in shots blocked (8.33 per game) and having committed the fewest turnovers (nine per game).

▪  The 76ers acquired forward Ersan Ilyasova in a trade Tuesday with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Ilyasova met the team in Charlotte Wednesday morning and was active for this game.

▪  Doctors for the 76ers have center Jahlil Okafor limited to 24 minutes per game right now due to knee soreness. Coach Brett Brown chose not to start Okafor Wednesday so that he could play most of those minutes in the second half.

▪  The first quarter wasn’t consistent with the Hornets’ usually reliable ball-handling; they committed five turnovers.

▪  Former Charlotte Bobcat Gerald Henderson, now playing for the 76ers, made all five of his first-half shots.

Follow members of the Charlotte Hornets' dance team through player introductions on Saturday night, right before tip-off of the first regular-season game since the arena's name changed to the Spectrum Center.

Worth mentioning

▪  The Hornets again played without center Roy Hibbert (sore knee) and Jeremy Lamb (hamstring). Forward Christian Wood missed this game with a case of strep throat.

▪  Carolina Panthers Thomas Davis and Devin Funchess attended the Hornets-76ers game.

▪  Rookie small forward Treveon Graham got his first regular-season minutes Wednesday, subbing into this game in the second quarter.

Report card

B OFFENSE: The Hornets scored 39 points in the third quarter on 16-of-22 shooting from the field.

B DEFENSE: The first half wasn’t good, but the Hornets pestered the 76ers into eight third-quarter turnovers.

B+ COACHING: Whatever Steve Clifford said at halftime must have done the trick.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

  Comments