Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets overcome sloppy night to top Atlanta Hawks

Charlotte guard Kemba Walker scored 29 points and added seven assists in the Hornets’ 113-102 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks.
Charlotte guard Kemba Walker scored 29 points and added seven assists in the Hornets’ 113-102 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks. AP

The Charlotte Hornets aren’t generally talented enough to play sloppy. Fortunately for them, the opponent Tuesday was team plagued by sloppy, the Atlanta Hawks.

That meant the Hornets could survive committing a season-high 21 turnovers to top the young and mistake-prone Hawks 113-102 at Spectrum Center, improving to 6-5.

The Hornets got 29 points and seven assists from Kemba Walker, and a season-high 20 points from Marvin Williams.

The Hawks, who started three rookies, got 19 points off the bench from former Hornet Jeremy Lin. Rookie Trae Young added 18 points and 10 assists.

The Hornets entered this game averaging the second-fewest turnovers at 12.6 per game.

Three who mattered

Walker: In addition to scoring, he did more facilitating than he’s generally done this season.

Young: Found a way to score despite starting 0-of-7 from 3-point range.

Williams: Man, did he need a breakout shooting guard, and Tuesday was it.

Observations

▪  Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist left the game in the first half and was diagnosed with a dislocated pinky finger on his right hand. Kidd-Gilchrist was available to return in the second half.

▪  Rookie Miles Bridges had a wild tomahawk dunk in the first half. Sure seems like he should get a look for the dunk contest, with the NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte in February.

▪  The Hornets entered Tuesday’s game with the second-lowest turnover average at 12.6 per game, so the 10 first-half turnovers were way out of character.

▪  Nic Batum was charged with a flagrant foul (level 1, the lesser variety) less than two minutes into this game. That was Batum’s second flagrant in his 11 NBA seasons.

Worth mentioning

▪  The Hornets brought back rookie point guard Devonte Graham from a two-game stint with the G League Greensboro Swarm. Graham was inactive against the Hawks.

▪  This was the last of a four-game home stand. The Hornets’ next three are at Philadelphia, Detroit and Cleveland starting Friday.

▪ Williams was charged with a flagrant foul, the fourth of his career.

They said it

“I wanted to start three rookies.” – Hawks coach, joking about why he went with 19th pick Kevin Huerter as replacement for the injured Taurean Prince.

“They need him to be productive. We understand that and he has our full attention.” – Hornets coach James Borrego on Hawks rookie Young.

Report card

C OFFENSE: It’s out of character for this team to commit turnovers as they did Tuesday.

C DEFENSE: Gave up so many points in the paint.

C COACHING: Plenty to clean up in two days before a road game in Philadelphia.

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