One Stud and one dud in Charlotte Hornets close loss to Celtics

Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets and Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets and Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Charlotte Hornets lost a tight one to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night by a score of 113-107. Boston led for most of the way but the Hornets fought hard and kept this game alive down to the final possessions of the game.

Charlotte struggled to defend the perimeter as Boston knocked down 14 three-pointers on the night, shooting 38.9 percent from behind the arc. The Hornets contained star-duo Jayson Tatum (19 points) and Jaylen Brown (15 points) which resulted in Marcus Smart leading the way. He finished with 22 points while Josh Richardson and Grant Williams combined to make nine threes off the bench.

Due to a struggling Tatum and Brown, Boston was unable to pull away in this game. They led by 10 points to start the fourth quarter, but Charlotte quickly erased that and was able to keep the game close for the remainder of the game.

Charlotte had solid performances from PJ Washington, Terry Rozier, and even Mason Plumlee who reeled in 17 rebounds, but there can only be one stud from tonight’s performance.

113. 18. Final. 107. 170

LaMelo Ball has career night in Hornets loss to Celtics

LaMelo Ball finished with 38 points, a career-high, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals against the Celtics. He was in attack mode all night and was getting whatever he wanted when he wanted. Ball shot 40 percent from three (4 for 10) and got to the free-throw line all night long (10 of 13).

It’s always refreshing when Ball realizes he very well might be the best player on the court. No disrespect to Tatum and Brown, but tonight, that guy was Ball.

In his last five games, Ball is averaging 27 points, 8.2 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game. If there’s still time for All-Star voters to fill out their voting ballots, Ball picked a pretty good time to put on this performance. It’s just unfortunate his efforts came in a Charlotte loss.

Cody Martin might be regressing to his mean

Cody Martin has been a little underwhelming lately, which is a weird sentence to type out since his expectations should be very high. Martin started this season off hot and had become a critical member of the rotation. Now he’s starting to look more like last year’s version of Martin who a lot of people thought wasn’t even an NBA player.

It’s not that bad just yet, but it’s something to keep an eye on. With Gordon Hayward, Kelly Oubre Jr, and Jalen McDaniels all missing time in the past couple of weeks, Martin has had a chance to step up in the starting lineup and take advantage of the situation, and he just hasn’t delivered.

Martin played 16 minutes tonight, only Nick Richards had less, and he finished with just 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Now no one is expecting Martin to come out and give the Hornets 25 points off the bench, but this is the fourth time in five games he hasn’t reached double-digits in points and he’s played 30 plus minutes in three of those games.

Martin’s role in this league is a “three and D” player and it doesn’t feel like he’s providing either of those things consistently at the moment. Hopefully, he can turn things around and we get the Martin we saw at the beginning of the season.

Next. The case for Miles Bridges as most improved player. dark

The Hornets take on the Cleveland Cavaliers next on Friday, Feb. 4.