Charlotte Hornets seek a third straight win against the Los Angeles Clippers

Charlotte Hornets Devonte Graham. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Charlotte Hornets Devonte Graham. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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After two gutsy wins at home, the Charlotte Hornets are back at .500 and feeling great. Can they make it three straight when the Los Angeles Clippers roll into town?

Optimism abounds in the Queen City after the Charlotte Hornets (26-26) endured two games in which they trailed for a considerable amount of time. Every team is going to have those games where it’s not clicking right away, and they end up finding themselves down by double-digits. What defines a team, however, is how they weather those types of games and if they can overcome those deficits.

The Hornets did just that and have evened their record back up. That’s exactly what they needed because they have another tough road stretch coming up, beginning immediately after their next game.

Their opponent for that game will be the Los Angeles Clippers (29-25). The very same Clippers squad that clobbered the Hornets by 19 in L.A. back on January 8th. Charlotte did lead for a bit in that game, but the Clippers ultimately pulled away in the second half. That one was on the road of course, but L.A. does have a winning road record as well, so the Hornets have their work cut out for them in this one.

Charlotte’s last game was a 125-118 win over the Chicago Bulls. The Hornets are currently 7th in the Eastern Conference. L.A.’s last contest was a 103-121 loss to the Toronto Raptors. They are 8th in the West. This is the final game against the Clippers this season.

Charlotte Hornets vs Los Angeles Clippers
7:00 p.m. EST, Tuesday, February 5th, 2019
Spectrum Center
Fox Sports Southeast

Injury Report:

CHA:

Tony Parker – Ankle (Game-Time Decision)

Cody Zeller – Hand (Game-Time Decision)

LAC:

Danillo Gallinari – Back (Out)

Luc Mbah a Moute – Knee (Out)

Things to watch for:

I think the obvious thing to look for is whether the Hornets can finally get Cody back. The big man out of Indiana has been sidelined with an injured hand since the beginning of January. Having him back would be a huge boon for the Hornets as he is instrumental in the pick and roll game. If Tony can play, that would be ideal as well.

Keys to the game:

Defend the three. L.A. has the 4th highest three-point field goal percentage in the league, and it showed in the Hornets’ last game against the Clippers. Los Angeles shot 47% from deep in that game and 51% overall. That’s not going to win you many games if you allow that to happen.

You also can’t allow four different players to score 20 or more points. The Clippers are 6th in the NBA in scoring, so stopping them will be an issue, but Charlotte will need to get up in shooters’ faces and avoid leaving anyone open on the perimeter.

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Starting Wednesday, Charlotte will be on the road for four games over eight days. For a team narrowly holding on to a playoff spot, that can be dangerous. They can help themselves, however, with a crucial win over the Los Angeles Clippers. We’ll see if they can split the season series Tuesday night in the Hive.