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Charlotte Hornets lose to Bulls in Chicago

Roderick Boone, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Basketball

CHICAGO — As the final buzzer sounded, LaMelo Ball shared an embrace with his older brother. Little bro and the Charlotte Hornets couldn’t get the best of Lonzo Ball this time.

Unable to crawl out of a hefty second-half deficit, the Hornets couldn’t muster enough offense and never got enough defensive stops, falling to Chicago 133-119 at the United Center on Monday night.

Here's what we learned in the Hornets’ second straight loss:

NOT ENOUGH BALL MOVEMENT

When the Hornets are close to their best, the ball is usually flowing and shifting from side to side. Those times they struggle arise out of too much individual play.

Against the Bulls, the ball wasn’t moving freely and the Hornets hoisted a bevy of jumpers. They had to work for just about everything and didn’t get much in the way of easy buckets. Although they recorded 23 assists on their 42 made shots, most of those came on jumpers and nothing of note really happened on the interior until they found themselves trailing by 20 in the second half.

 

The Bulls’ length made it difficult, but the Hornets needed to do a better job sharing the ball earlier before things began unraveling.

NICK RICHARDS STARTS, PJ SIZZLES

In a somewhat surprising move, Nick Richards received a pretty good birthday present: he got the starting nod at center with Mason Plumlee sidelined for his third straight game nursing a right calf strain. Washington started the previous two games, but with the Bulls’ length up front and big man Nik Vucevic to tend to Richards drew the opening assignment.

Washington seemed to be in his comfort zone again coming off the bench. He drained his first four shots beyond the 3-point arc, cashing in 12 quick points to give them a boost. He tied his season high for makes beyond the line in a game with five even before halftime, injecting the Hornets with some notable production at the position.

Richards appeared to get lost too often in the pick and roll and left Vucevic open frequently, an issue that earned him a place on the bench longer than he would have surely hoped.

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