Nic Batum’s Double-Double Leads the Charlotte Hornets Over the Atlanta Hawks
Nicolas Batum, Cody Zeller, and Kemba Walker led the Charlotte Hornets to their second straight victory with a comeback win over the Atlanta Hawks.
The Charlotte Hornets (8-3) defeated the Atlanta Hawks (9-3) for their second straight win. This was a meeting between two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference so far this year. It was a major test for Charlotte and is arguably their biggest win of the season.
The Hornets were without Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) once again but he is very close to returning to the team after missing several weeks. Without Lamb, the second unit has struggled and that continued int this one. Batum and Zeller easily had their best games of the season so far this year.
With Kemba Walker’s struggles in the first half, Nicolas Batum and Cody Zeller carried the team through the first two quarters. Kemba started by only scoring two points on 0-7 shooting but Nic and Cody combined for 25 of the team’s 29 first quarter points. They also combined for 33 of the Hornets’ 48 first half points. Even though Walker got off to a slow start, he ended up turning things around in the second half.
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One of the biggest turning points in the game was when Dwight Howard received a flagrant two for elbowing Cody Zeller in the face. For the final 5:38 without Howard, Atlanta were outscored 14-7. A 20-4 run in the fourth was the game-sealing run for the Hornets.
Batum led Charlotte with a season-high 24 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. It was only his second double-double on the year. Cody Zeller also had a big night with a season-high 23 points to go along with three rebounds. It was his first 20 point performance of the season. Kemba Walker finished the game with 21 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Not to mention a number of clutch buckets down the stretch of the fourth quarter.
Every other player on the Hornets scored under double-digits but Marvin Williams had a team-high 11 rebounds. While the bench and the rest of the starters struggled, the big three of Batum, Zeller, and Walker carried the team to this win.
The Hawks were led by Paul Millsap with a team-high 22 points and 13 rebounds. Kent Bazemore added 19 points. Dennis Schroder and Mike Muscala each scored 11 points on the night. Dwight Howard was dominating the boards as he recorded 10 points and 18 rebounds in this one.
Highlight of the Night:
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) November 19, 2016
Tweet of the Night:
Still burning me up that people are thinking Kemba isn’t playing better than IT right now. Put Charlotte on national TV, for Christ’s sake
— Shane Young (@YoungNBA) November 19, 2016
- The Hawks out-rebounded the Hornets 49-44.
- Atlanta’s bench outscored Charlotte’s 29-17.
- The Hornets only committed 11 turnovers compared to 16 by the Hawks.
- Kemba has now scored 20+ points in 10 straight games.
- The Charlotte Hornets shot (37-90) 41.1% from the field and (10-29) 34.5% from the three-point line.
With the win, the Hornets take a 1-0 series lead over their divisional rivals. Charlotte needs to win as many of these season series as possible because it could give them the tiebreaker for playoff seeding or division championships later in the year. These two teams will meet three more times this season with their next game coming on December 17th.
The Charlotte Hornets will travel on the road to take on the New Orleans Pelicans in their next match. It will be the second half of a back to back and is sure to be a tough match-up with limited rest. It will be the first meeting between the two sides so far this season.