The Charlotte Hornets have started the course with a long-suffering victory. The North Carolina team took the match against the Pacers by 123-122, for which they needed to turn a 23-point deficit and survive a very tight last quarter. In this, there was a continuous exchange of blows and there were numerous changes on the scoreboard, but finally it was the locals who were left with the victory.
Indiana started by taking control of the game, taking advantage of the scoring ability of Domantas Sabonis on the inside. The Lithuanian went into halftime with 22 points, 14 of which came in the first quarter, and helped his team build their advantage based on his good work in the paint and his great exterior success, which allowed him to finish the game. duel signing a 4/6 in triples. In fact, with his 33 points and 15 rebounds, he was surely the most outstanding man of the match, but it was not enough for his team to open with victory.
Who was also key in the great first part of Carlisle’s was rookie Chris Duarte, who made a sensational debut and managed to go up to 27 points. The former Oregon player hardly needed one game to demonstrate his enormous scoring skills, and he managed to be enormously effective from his first minutes and do a lot of damage to the locals thanks to his 6/9 triples. Malcolm Brogdon, meanwhile, finished with 28 points, although in his case most came after the break, when he was in charge of keeping his team alive against the Hornets’ arreón.
Those from Borrego came to lose 59-82, but their reaction could not be more forceful. With a run of 24-0, Charlotte turned the game upside down, going from having the game very uphill to finding its first advantage of the night before the third quarter came to an end. 12 of the points of said partial came from the hand of LaMelo Ball, who was in charge of lifting his team off the canvas and was undoubtedly the hero of the night for the locals.
The sophomore, with 31 points, finished as the top scorer of his own, and he did it with great efficiency, especially in the launch of three, in which he signed a 7/9. In addition, as usual in him, he also shone in other sections, as he managed to sign 9 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals to round off a great night and show that he comes into this season as hungry as the previous one.
Gordon Hayward, with 27 points, was their best squire, although the Hornets also found a good contribution from many secondary men. Ish Smith, with 14 points, was one of the good news of the second unit, while Kelly Oubre Jr. and Miles Bridges added 14 and 13 respectively. In this way, the team managed to overcome the loss of Terry Rozier, the leading scorer of last season, who missed the crash due to a left ankle injury.
Sabonis had the triumph
Despite the great reaction from Charlotte, the Pacers managed to stay in the game thanks to 15 points from Brogdon in the fourth quarter, and even went ahead with 12 seconds left thanks to two free throws by Torrey Craig. Then came a rather chaotic possession, in which Hayward tried to return the advantage to his own, failed, and began a fight for a decisive rebound that, after several seconds of comings and goings and seeing the ball roll on the floor, ended in hands of PJ Washington, who quickly searched for the rim but was fouled. The forward scored his two free throws, putting the final 123-122, which still had one possession ahead.
This went to Sabonis, who, after gaining a few meters thanks to his backward play, looked for a half-turn shot from about four meters that was spat out by the hoop, certifying the local triumph. The Hornets therefore start off in an exciting way, with a victory that encourages them to think that this year may be better than the previous one.
(Cover photo: Grant Halverson / Getty Images)