12/03/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 12/02/2019 23:17
What looked like was going to be a thrilling comeback win for the Charlotte Hornets quickly dissipated in the final minute as they ended up falling in stunning fashion to the Phoenix Suns, 109-104, on Monday, Dec. 2 at Spectrum Center.
Marvin Williams finished with a season-high 22 points on just 5-of-8 shooting, five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in the loss. The seasoned vet also went 10-of-10 from the line, become the first Hornets reserve to drain double-digit free throws without a miss since Jeremy Lin did so on April 11, 2016.
Charlotte turned the ball over nine times in the opening 12 minutes, largely contributing to a 28-21 deficit after the first quarter. Holding a 35-29 advantage in the second, Phoenix shot off a 16-3 run over the next six minutes of play and eventually entered the break leading by 20.
Charlotte started crawling back in the second half, using a 48-23 run across 14 minutes to take an 89-84 lead with 7:53 remaining on the game clock. The Hornets continued to pull away, going up 104-97 at the 1:11 mark, but Phoenix responded with a Frank Kaminsky basket and back-to-back Kelly Oubre Jr. threes to swiftly retake the lead. A turnover, two Ricky Rubio free throws and a missed game-tying triple by Devonte' Graham ended things for Charlotte.
'You have to start the game with the right urgency and professionalism. To me, that's the issue right now,' said Coach Borrego afterwards. 'Down the stretch, we've been a good team. We are closing games more than not this season, which is a positive. The negative is that we're not starting games in the first half or first quarter with the right presence, urgency and competitiveness. That's the habit I'm looking for.'
Graham finished with 15 points and a game-high 13 assists for his seventh double-double of the campaign, Terry Rozier had 13 points and P.J Washington and Cody Zeller each racked up 11 points. Bismack Biyombo chipped in nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Nic Batum (left hand discomfort) exited in the second quarter and did not return.
Oubre Jr. and Devin Booker led Phoenix with 23 points, with Dario Šarić racking up 16 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the campaign. Kaminsky and Mikal Bridges tossed in 12 points apiece and Rubio just missed a double-double with nine points and a game-high 13 assists and four steals.
Charlotte matched its season high with 49 bench points, but committed 19 total turnovers (15 in the first half) leading to 22 Phoenix points. The Hornets shot just 7-of-26 from three-point range (26.9%) and drained 22-of-30 free throws (73.3%), although went just 1-of-2 from the line in the opening half.
The Hornets are back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 4 when they play host to the Golden State Warriors starting at 7 PM EST at Spectrum Center. Catch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen on WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM or the Hornets app.