The Hornets, with no four players in quarantine, win 130-127 in Atlanta. Toronto and Houston also win
& commat; dchinellato
Danilo Gallinari’s Hawks are surprised by Charlotte, who showed up in Atlanta without her star LaMelo Ball and three other players who ended up in the Covid protocol. Washington is surprised by Toronto, Houston just surprises with the sixth win in a row.
Coach Borrego had promised before the game: “We are cut out for challenges like these” he said confidently, almost oblivious to the fact that his best player and three other important pieces of the rotation ended up in quarantine with Covid. His Hornets (14 wins-11 losses) in Atlanta did not disappoint: they played a game of pure endurance, talent and community, breaking the Hawks home (12-12) and closing a streak of 3 losses in a row. It was very difficult to do it in those conditions, without LaMelo Ball and after 36 hours spent dealing with the first coronavirus scare of the year. Yet the Hornets reacted well, as a team, continuing to be the funniest team of the year even without LaMelo. “We played well, but they were better than us,” admits coach McMillan laconic, who prefers to see the glass half full in the third defeat of his Hawks in 4 games. The 17 points of Danilo Gallinari were not enough, now completely recovered after the difficult start of the season. John Collins’ 31 points with 12 rebounds, Trae Young’s 25 with 15 assists, Huerter’s 7 triples (28 points) or 51.6% from the field were not needed: “They played free, in speed and with confidence: difficult to stop a team that plays like this ”explains Young. The Hornets’ secret weapon, who finished with 6 double-digit players, was the group, just as Borrego had promised. But the coach also has excellent soloists. Like Miles Bridges, decisive with 13 of his 32 points in the fourth period, Kelly Oubre (28 points with 6 triples to target) and Ish Smith, also important as a starting point guard with 18 points and 7 assists. “This is a key victory for us – says Bridges -: we have shown the rest of the NBA that we want to continue winning even with many players out”.
The 11 points of the inspired Gallinari are not enough in Atlanta to avoid falling under 68-61 at the interval. Charlotte extends up to 74-63 at the start of the second half, Atlanta overturns everything with Collins and Young but when the third siren sounds the Hornets are again ahead, 99-92. The Hawks put in a 14-2 run and come back forward, hitting 112-107 with Gallinari in the middle of the run. Charlotte, however, raises the revs again, dragged by Bridges, and builds with 3’30 “from the end a precious gift of three points that Atlanta can only scratch.
Atlanta: GALLINARI 17 (6/8 of two, 1/4 of three, 2/2 free throws), 4 rebounds, 3 assists in 27 ‘. Collins 31 (10/18, 2/4, 5/5 tl), Huerter 28, Young 25. Rebounds: Collins 12. Assists: Young 15.
Charlotte: Bridges 32 (7/9, 4/6, 6/6 tl), Oubre 28, Martin 19. Rebounds: Washington 11. Assist: Smith 7.
Home Sweet Home. Toronto (11-13) takes advantage of Washington’s bad night (14-10) to take the second win in a row at the Scotiabank Arena. The merit of Pascal Siakam, a leading player with 31 points, who led the attack returned to score more than 100 points after four games under the triple figure. Merit of the defense of Nurse, who for the third match in a row gives opponents less than 100 points. Washington, in the first of 9 away games in 10 games, pays 41.1% from the field and the night no of his reference men, starting with Bradley Beal who finished with 14 points and 4/12 shooting. He and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the best with 26 points, are the only ones in the Unseld gang to have scored more than 10 points. Inevitable came the third defeat in the last four games at the end of a match in which Washington was down by even 25.
Toronto: Siakam 31 (9/20, 1/1, 10/12 tl), Boucher 14, Barnes 11. Rebounds: Achiuwa 14. Assist: Banton 6.
Washington: Caldwell-Pope 26 (4/5, 4/4, 6/6 tl), Beal 14, Dinwiddie 9, Kuzma 9, Neto 9. Rebounds: Harrell 14. Assist: Beal 7.
houston-new orleans 118-108
Incredible Rockets. After losing 15 games in a row, Houston (7-16) continues its rebirth and with New Orleans (7-19) it takes its sixth consecutive victory. Coach Silas has regenerated a team that seemed to be thrown away despite the absence of Jalen Green, the second overall pick in the draft around which the Rockets want to be reborn. “We are playing as a team, facing one game at a time” says Christian Wood, 23 points like Eric Gordon and better than a group that finished with 6 players in double figures. Under 108-93 in the fourth period, New Orleans tried to recover with a run of 12-3 led by Brandon Ingram, who signed his best performance of the season with 40 points. It wasn’t enough to straighten a game for a team that is always waiting for Zion Williamson to try to save a hitherto horrible season.
Houston: Gordon 23 (4/7, 3/7, 6/6 tl), Wood 23 (2/7, 5/6, 4/8 tl), Mathews 13. Rebounds: Wood 8. Assists: Tate 7.
New Orleans: Ingram 40 (12/18, 3/10, 7/8 tl), Valencianas 17, Alexander-Walker 10, Hernangomez 10. Rebounds: Hernangomez 14. Assist: Alexander-Walker 5.
December 6 – 7:23 am
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