Hornets Reactions: Malik Monk, LaMelo Ball fuel comeback win over Suns

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Jacob Rude
·2 min read
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Down 17 points in the first half, the Charlotte Hornets rallied for a comeback win on the road in Phoenix on Wednesday for a 124-121 win.

Malik Monk started the rally in the second quarter, scoring 20 of his 29 points to turn a blowout into a one-point game by halftime. From there, a 7-0 run by Charlotte to open the second half gave the Hornets a lead and they would only trail twice briefly from there on.

LaMelo Ball helped close the game in the second half and fourth quarter, pouring in 20 points on the night as well. Gordon Hayward added 20 points and hit a pair of big free throws down the stretch in the final seconds.

Devin Booker had a game-high 33 points for Phoenix.

The Good: Malik Monk

When this game seemed like it was all but over in the second quarter, Malik Monk saved Charlotte with an enormous scoring performance. Monk scored 20 points in the second quarter as part of 22 points in the first half, turning a 17-point deficit into just a one-point deficit by halftime. Monk has been exceptional off the bench after entering the rotation this season and particularly in recent weeks with Devonte' Graham out due to injury. On Wednesday, he was one of the biggest reasons Charlotte even was in the game late.

The Bad: The officiating

A growing issue in the NBA has been the officiating and the Hornets were on the rough end of some calls on Wednesday. No call was more egregious than the four-point play from Booker in the final minute of the game which made what seemed to be a fairly routine ending to the same turn into a chaotic one. Missed calls for Terry Rozier and LaMelo Ball when both were hit in the face in the second half also were noteworthy for the wrong reasons. And down the stretch, the game was a mess and should lead to a lengthy and interesting Last Two Minutes report.

LaMelo Ball: The Finisher

Ball was relatively quiet in the first half as he was the one who remained on the bench as Monk exploded in the second quarter. The extended break did nothing to slow him down in the second half and particularly the fourth quarter. Down the stretch, Ball had a pair of huge finishes at the rim, blowing by both DeAndre Ayton and Jae Crowder on switches to finish with a dunk and a layup. He had a couple of hiccups, including fouling Chris Paul up four points with less than 10 seconds to go but overall he was tremendous in the second half. He finished the night with 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting overall and 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point territory with eight assists, four rebounds and two steals.

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