A win is a win, and boy did the Hornets need this one. They end their ugly seven game losing streak by defeating the Nets 111-107 to bring their record up to 24-28 — keeping them in the playoff race in the East. However, all is not well in Buzz City, as this was not a great outing for the Hornets, and really only won because they were facing the hapless Nets.
The Hornets began the game with good energy on both ends and even though the team was not hitting shots early, their defense was active enough to cause the Nets to shoot only 27% in the first with 5 turnovers, leading to a 24-16 advantage for the home team. Frank Kaminsky got the start and got busy on the boards and did an excellent job of frustrating Lopez in the paint. The bench was sloppy and allowed the Nets to stay in it through the mid part of the second quarter but thanks to a quick 8-0 run lead by Nic Batum, the Hornets took a 54-37 lead into the half and it looked like they would coast to an easy victory.
This is the 2017 Hornets regular season and nothing is ever easy. This team just has no killer instinct and are incapable of closing a team out early. They came out flat in the third-quarter, as we have seen recently, and let the Nets come back to make it a game. With a big boost of energy from Booker, Lopez and Bogdanovic off the bench, the Nets outscored the Hornets 35-27 in the third, closing the gap to 81-72 heading into the final quarter. The Hornets could have come out with a big run to start the 4th and put this game away, but what fun would that be? Instead, they allowed the Nets to stick around and with 5 minutes left to play the Nets closed the gap to 4.
The Hornets got the win they needed. Giving up 70 second-half points at home to a team that is really, really bad is not exactly going to have Coach Clifford beaming with confidence as the Hornets head into a very difficult 10-game stretch. With Cody still out and the All-Star break on the horizon, we will just mark this up as a win and move on, hoping that the momentum from the home win helps to correct some of the issues that have hurt this team recently.