Batum breaks out, leads Hornets past 76ers 109-93
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Kemba Walker had 22 points, Nicolas Batum scored 17 of 20 points in a pivotal third quarter and the Charlotte Hornets handed the Philadelphia 76ers their fourth straight loss to open the season, 109-93 on Wednesday night.
Led by Batum, the Hornets opened the second half on a 16-2 run to erase a seven-point halftime deficit and gain control.
Batum, who came into game shooting just 27 percent from the field and was limited to three points in the first half, was 6 of 8 in the third quarter with three 3-pointers as the Hornets outscored the 76ers 39-20. The 76ers didn't help themselves with eight turnovers in the third quarter that led to 12 Charlotte points.
Frank Kaminsky provided a huge boost off the bench for Charlotte (3-1), finishing with 14 points for his second-straight double-digit game since returning from a sprained foot. Cody Zeller added 13 points in his first game since receiving a $56 million contract extension earlier this week.
Ersan Ilyasova had 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting in his first game with the 76ers since being acquired in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dario Saric also had 14 points
Batum came into the game shooting 27 percent from the field in the first three games of the season and 21 percent behind the arc.
76ers: Jahlil Okafor was on a ''minutes restriction'' due to knee soreness and only played 23 minutes. … Treveon Graham saw his first NBA action for the Hornets but played only one minute. … Have lost six straight games to the Hornets. … Committed 19 turnovers that led to 29 points.
Hornets: C Roy Hibbert missed his second straight game with right knee soreness. … Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) was also out for Charlotte. … The Hornets were 16 of 22 from the field in the third quarter. … Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis attended the game. Davis, a 12-year NFL veteran, scored his first NFL touchdown last week against Arizona.
76ers: Things don't get easier for Philadelphia, which plays host to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
Hornets: Visit Brooklyn on Thursday night before returning home for a three-game home stand.