CHARLOTTE, NC - Not only did the Carolina Panthers defeat the 8-1 Arizona Cardinals, but the Charlotte Hornets made the night one to remember for Charlottians by defeating the Golden State Warriors, the best team in the NBA, 106-102. Even Hornets guard LaMelo Ball took notice of the Panthers' big win.
"Coming in today, I felt like we was going to win. I seen the Panthers playing the Cardinals and they were like 8-1 or something. I was like dang, this kind of line up, I feel like we might win too."
It was a tightly contested game from start to finish with the largest lead for either team being seven, which didn't hold for long. For the most part, it was a lot of back and forth being that there were 25 lead changes. Neither team really shot the lights out of the gym but when shots were made by Golden State, Charlotte answered, and vice versa. In a game that lacks big runs, defense in the fourth quarter will propel a team to victory. There was a combined total of 33 points in the final quarter, Charlotte allowed just 14. In the final six minutes of the game, the Warriors converted on just two of eleven attempts from the field.
Hornets head coach James Borrego believes the defense in the fourth quarter helped them win this game.
“Defensively – our ball pressure. We gave up a few too many offensive rebounds and second-chance points, but I thought our team was really locked in on Steph and they did a great job of giving him nothing easy. He banks one in, but he’s going to make those shots sometimes and you just have to move on. I thought in general, we made it tough on him tonight and the guys in that locker room deserve all the credit and they were a big part of those 14 points. And I thought our effort defensively tonight was huge for us getting the win.”
With 44 seconds remaining, Draymond Green drove down the lane and slammed one home to tie the game at 102-102. Five seconds later, Miles Bridges gave Charlotte the lead back on a beautiful 10-foot hook shot. At the other end of the floor, Mason Plumlee fouled Kevon Looney, sending him to the line for a chance to tie the game back up. Looney missed both shots from the charity stripe, forcing Looney to then intentionally foul Terry Rozier. Rozier nailed both of his free throws, putting the game away for the Hornets.
“I thought our guys played well tonight," Borrego said. "Give us a lot of credit, we played well and the goal is to get better every game. We battled for 48 minutes and that is the key, to play hard for 48 minutes, and for us going forward, we are trying to be more efficient in our execution and I thought tonight was huge for us and I thought we took a step forward in that regard. We just have to get better, but I am really proud of that group. They deserve this win and they gutted it out even with two rotation guys out of this game, we still found a way to close out this game.”
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