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It’s becoming just about impossible lately for the Charlotte Hornets to score enough points to win an NBA game.
On Wednesday, it took until the final minute for the Hornets to reach 90, and that led to their third consecutive loss, this time to the Cleveland Cavaliers 103-90 at Spectrum Center. The Hornets made just 34-of-84 shots from the field.
The Hornets have now scored 93 or fewer points four times in their past eight games. They fell to 27-27 and continue sliding in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Cavaliers (20-34) got 25 points off the bench from Taurean Prince.
Observations from this game:
Terry Rozier back against an opponent he loves to play
Terry Rozier started Wednesday after missing Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers with left knee tendinitis. He finished with a team-high 22 points and added eight assists and seven rebounds.
The Hornets never thought Rozier’s would be a lingering injury, as it is for other starters LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward.
It figures that Rozier, who grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, would want to play against the Cavs. His career numbers against Cleveland are impressive, including a career-best 42 points in the Hornets’ season opener.
Over 15 career games against the Cavs entering Wednesday, Rozier averaged 15 points on exceptional shooting: 48.5% from the field, 50.6% from 3-point range and 80% from the foul line.
With Rozier back, Caleb Martin returned to the second unit after starting against the Lakers.
Who is next to play among injured Hornets?
Center-forward P.J. Washington missed his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle suffered Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks. He figures to be the first back among four rotation players the Hornets were still missing Wednesday.
Malik Monk missed his seventh consecutive game with an ankle sprain, and coach James Borrego has indicated Monk’s return isn’t imminent. The Hornets are likely weeks away from either Ball (fractured wrist) or Hayward (sprained foot) playing. Based on the timeline the Hornets announced when Ball had wrist surgery, he’d likely have his wrist reevaluated late next week.
Why isn’t rookie Vernon Carey playing?
With Washington out, Borrego indicated before Tuesday’s game that second-round rookie Vernon Carey might get some minutes against the Lakers. That didn’t happen, so Borrego was asked Wednesday pregame what center Carey, the 32nd overall pick, must do to get on the court.
“Why is he not ready? He just doesn’t have a lot of experience right now. I wish I had G-League minutes for him,” Borrego said, referring to the abbreviated G-League schedule this winter in a bubble setting in Florida.
“We’re going to need to take a look at him at some point, and I don’t know when that is. I’m not saying it’s right now or this year. Obviously, this summer will be huge for him. The kid is 19 and has some serious talent. He could be a major factor for us here quickly. If it’s not this year, definitely next year.”