Bad. Bad bad bad.
The Charlotte Hornets did nothing well as they started the new year on the wrong foot and lost to the Suns, 133-99.
The Hornets had to withstand a barrage of buckets from the Suns early on as they continually let the Suns get several wide open looks from deep. The hot shooting from the Suns helped them build a lead as large as 17 early in the quarter. Kelly Oubre checked in an aggressively looked to score. He did that to the tune of eight points, joining LaMelo Ball for the team lead after one quarter of play. The Hornets trailed 36-29 heading into quarter number two.
The Hornets pushed the run into the second quarter and narrowed the deficit to four before they lost their rhythm. They struggled to convert on offense, which led to Suns transition opportunities that the Hornets absolutely could not stop. The Suns went on a 19-2 run to give themselves a comfortable 21 point lead. They tacked a few more points onto that before the break. Bismack Biyombo dunked all over Ish Smith while getting fouled and then converted the ensuing free throw to put the Suns up 73-47.
The Hornets needed to make a run in the third quarter to have any chance of salvaging a win, and they did nothing of the sort. The closest they cut the deficit to in the third was 23 points after a pair of LaMelo Ball 3-pointers, but the Suns quickly responded to that with a run that would extend the lead beyond 30 points. The teams would trade baskets from there through the end of the quarter. That resulted in the Hornets trailing 106-74 after three.
The fourth quarter was garbage time from the start, but the Suns really drove home the point by having Landry Shamet drill three 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the quarter. The Hornets had some nice dunks and James Bouknight had this impressive block that didn’t count, but otherwise the entire quarter was inconsequential.
— Bally Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnBally) January 3, 2022
There was nothing redeeming about this game. There were no standout performances and there was nothing about this game that could be viewed as a silver lining. If nothing else, the Hornets don’t have time to dwell on the loss as they have to take on the Wizards on Monday night.