CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Luke Kennard returned to the floor Monday night and helped lead the Los Angeles Clippers past the Charlotte Hornets, 119-117.
The Hornets were fortunate to only be trailing by nine at the end of the first half given the inconsistent effort on the defensive end. There were too many times where guys were bailing down the floor instead of attacking the glass and too many possessions where Clippers shooters were wide-open on the arc. Los Angeles shot 6-of-9 from deep in the second quarter.
Offensively, the Hornets had a lot of wasted possessions. They only turned it over six times but there were a few other trips down the floor that you might as well have lumped into the turnover category. Poor floor spacing and forcing some low-percentage shots allowed the Clippers to get out to a double-digit lead.
Terry Rozier had a rough start to the night missing his first seven shots from the floor and his first four from three-point land. He finally saw one go through the net at the four-minute mark and his absence on the offensive end really hindered Charlotte. He would, however, find his stroke early on in the third quarter as he was responsible for 11 points during a 26-8 run to open up the second half, helping give the Hornets a 80-71 lead.
Charlotte's effort, energy, and focus helped turn the game on its head, but the Clippers would answer with a lightning fast 9-0 run in just over a minute of game time. L.A. carried that momentum over into the fourth quarter and exploded for a 20-6 run to begin the fourth, essentially canceling out Charlotte's first eight minutes or so of the third. Fifteen of those 20 points came via the three-ball, two of which came from former Charlotte Hornet, Nic Batum.
The Hornets continued to battle knocking down a few threes themselves and following a made two by Kelly Oubre Jr., Paul George was docked for a technical foul. Terry Rozier hit the free throw to knot the game up at 115 a piece. Rozier connected on a mid-range jumper giving Charlotte the lead. Kawhi Leonard tied the game up and then hit the game-winning shot on a jumper with 1.4 left.
The Hornets will now hit the road for a quick one game roadtrip to Brooklyn to take on the Nets. Tip-off is set for Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST.
TEAM STATS (ACCUMULATIVE)
LAC: 12/24 FG | 3/11 3FG | 13 REB | 9 AST | 4 TO | 14 PIP
CHA: 9/22 FG | 4/9 3FG | 12 REB | 8 AST | 3 TO | 6 PIP
LAC: 24/46 FG | 9/20 3FG | 23 REB | 19 AST | 6 TO | 20 PIP
CHA: 21/43 FG | 6/15 3FG | 20 REB | 18 AST | 6 TO | 24 PIP
LAC: 33/69 FG | 10/27 3FG | 35 REB | 23 AST | 11 TO | 32 PIP
CHA: 37/75 FG | 9/26 3FG | 38 REB | 20 AST | 7 TO | 44 PIP
LAC: 45/93 FG | 15/36 3FG | 47 REB | 30 AST | 12 TO | 40 PIP
CHA: 47/98 FG | 12/34 3FG | 49 REB | 29 AST | 10 TO | 54 PIP
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