Mon, 23 May 2022

Hornets aim to stay hot vs. Thunder

Field Level Media
21 Jan 2022, 04:40 GMT+10

So many good things have happened for the Charlotte Hornets over the past two weeks as they defeated some of the top teams in the Eastern Conference while winning six of their last seven games.

"We're not satisfied," Charlotte guard Terry Rozier said. "We're going to stay humble, keep playing hard and have fun out there."

They will attempt to build on that momentum on Friday when they take on the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder in Charlotte, N.C.

The Hornets are coming off a 111-102 victory at Boston on Wednesday.

"Nothing tricky here," coach James Borrego said. "We didn't talk about any winning streaks, losing streaks."

Among the good news for the Hornets was that LaMelo Ball had just a one-game absence this week. In his return to action Wednesday, Ball recorded his fourth career triple-double.

"We pretty much trying to change the culture here," Ball said. "Bring winning here."

The Hornets know they can't rest on past accomplishments, and despite the positive statistics, Ball's career-high eight turnovers against the Celtics shows there is still work to be done. They were feeling good about a week ago after two wins against the Milwaukee Bucks and a road triumph at Philadelphia before they flopped in home loss to the lowly Orlando Magic.

"It's a long road. You can't be satisfied at all," Rozier said. "It's mainly the preparation. You've just got to be prepared."

There aren't nearly as many encouraging signs for Oklahoma City, which has lost three straight games.

This will be the third contest of a four-game road swing across six nights for the Thunder, who have dropped eight of their last nine games and sit last in the Northwest Division.

The Thunder dropped a 118-96 decision on Wednesday night at San Antonio.

"I try not to overreact to one game," Oklahoma City coach Mark Daigneault said.

But with only one victory in nine January games, the confidence could use a boost.

"We believe in ourselves and we have a high standard for ourselves," Thunder guard Ty Jerome said.

Rookie Aaron Wiggins provided a team-high 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting at San Antonio.

"I just try to find the easiest shots for me," Wiggins said.

Oklahoma City also received a season-high eight points from center Mamadi Diakite, who is on a 10-day contract.

The Hornets have counted on defense for getting them going and that could be a benefit against an Oklahoma City team struggling at the offensive end.

"It feels good to see us trending in the right way," Rozier said of the defense.

And on offense, Rozier has connected on 3.1 attempts from 3-point range per game, ranking among the league's top 11 in that category.

Oklahoma City, meantime, ranks last in the NBA in points per game (100.7) and 3-point shooting percentage (31.2). The Thunder have scored 97 or fewer points in six of their last 11 games.

The teams will meet again at Oklahoma City on March 14.

--Field Level Media

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