The San Antonio Spurs secured a dominant 38-point win over the Charlotte Hornets last night, defeating their opponents 135-99. The game saw standout performances from several Spurs players as well as the return of Hornets star LaMelo Ball from injury.
Spurs Offense Clicks from Start
The Spurs offense was clicking right out of the gates, racing to a 33-19 lead after the first quarter. They were led by 24 points from Tre Jones, who repeatedly drove into the lane for layups and hit 4 three-pointers. Jones finished with an efficient 8-11 shooting night along with 5 assists.
“We knew we had to get out and run tonight,” Jones said after the game. “My teammates were finding me in all the right spots and I just tried to be aggressive.”
The Spurs also got major contributions from Victor Wembanyama (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Cedi Osman (18 points on 7-8 shooting). In total, eight Spurs players finished in double figures.
“This is the offense we know we’re capable of,” said Spurs head coach Mitch Johnson. “Sharing the ball, playing unselfishly, taking smart shots. Hopefully we can use this game as a blueprint going forward.”
Ball’s Return Not Enough for Hornets
On the other side, LaMelo Ball made his return after missing the Hornets’ previous 10 games with a sprained ankle. While his 16 points and 9 assists were solid, they weren’t nearly enough to lift Charlotte as their losing streak extended to four games.
“I felt good out there, but it’s tough when we get beat that bad,” Ball said. “We got to put this one behind us quick.”
Ball’s backcourt mate Terry Rozier led the team with 20 points, but no other Hornet scored more than Nick Richard’s 12 points off the bench. As a team the Hornets only connected on 41% of their shots compared to 55% shooting for the Spurs.
“We looked outmatched in every area tonight – offense, defense, you name it,” said Hornets coach Kenny Atkinson. “The Spurs played great, especially Jones and Wembanyama. We have a lot of work to do.”
What This Means Going Forward
|Place in Standings
|12th in West
|14th in East
With the win, the Spurs reached the .500 mark at 9-9 over their last 18 contests. The game showcased the talent on their roster when clicking on all cylinders, led by Rookie of the Year candidate Wembanyama. They still sit outside the playoff spots in the Western Conference but are trending upwards.
Meanwhile the Hornets loss placed them second-to-last in the Eastern Conference standings. While Ball’s return offers a glimmer of hope, the team still appears multiple pieces away from contention, especially with leading scorer Miles Bridges still absent due to legal issues. Barring a late surge it seems likely Charlotte will land a top lottery pick in next year’s draft.
For the Spurs, their next test comes Sunday night at home against the Utah Jazz. Jones talked postgame about carrying momentum forward not just to the next game but through the second half of the season.
The Hornets will look to stop the bleeding Monday when they host the Chicago Bulls. Rozier talked about the importance of keeping morale up during the tough stretch to avoid the losses piling up mentally in the locker room.
With 30+ games remaining for both teams, last night’s blowout felt like a potential fork in the road moment. Time will tell whether it represents a turning point for San Antonio or another lost season for Charlotte.
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