James Bouknight set a team high for the game and season high for himself with 22 points, but the Charlotte Hornets just didn’t have enough talent to keep up with the Chicago Bulls and lost, 121-91.
It was really bad at the beginning and really bad at the end, but the middle of the game was thoroughly entertaining and encouraging for Hornets fans. James Bouknight got hot in the first quarter en route to his almost-career day, but the Hornets repeatedly turned the ball over in the game’s early going to dig themselves into an early hole. They played pretty even basketball for the next two-plus quarters, but they eventually ran out of gas in the later stages of the game. It was to be expected though–the Bulls are trying to solidify play-in seeding while the Hornets are bordering on trotting out a G League squad at this point.
James Bouknight put in a very strong statistical performance with 22 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists on 50% shooting from the field and 6-of-11 shooting from three. But perhaps more exciting than the numbers themselves is the way he got them. He played with a calmness that we haven’t seen in his limited NBA minutes to this point. He didn’t try to do too much and let the game to him. Hopefully he can build off this in the last four games.
Nick Richards hit a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock late in the third quarter. The shot looked confident and the stroke pure. A taste of what’s to come?
JT Thor continued to make his threes and made some solid connecting plays within the flow of the offense that won’t show up in the box score. He’s looking more and more like a reasonable facsimile of Jalen McDaniels.
PJ Washington left the game in the first quarter with what’s being called a foot sprain. It looked like his foot caught on the floor and his ankle turned a little bit. Hopefully it ends up being as mild of an injury as it looked and he’s only being held out for precautionary reasons. We’ll have more updates if it ends up more significant than that.
The Hornets turned the ball over 22 times which led to 29 Bulls points. That alone was almost enough to make the difference in the final score. But despite the high team total, no Hornet had more than 4 individually, and it’s not entirely surprising that such an inexperienced team would struggle to take care of the ball, especially with the dearth of healthy point guards currently on the roster.
The Hornets will have a day off before hosting the Toronto Raptors for a 1:00 matinee on Sunday.
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