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Hornets 'right there,' but not close enough against Oklahoma City
Charlotte 16-25 at season's midpoint
 
Published Saturday, January 13, 2018 8:06 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

The Charlotte Hornets need to hit the road again.

At the midway point of the season, they are 11-12 at home (16-25, they remains in 11th in the East). While the Hornets are 5-13 on the road, three of those wins came on their last road trip. They go to Detroit for a King Day matinee after capping a 1-2 homestand with a 101-91 loss to Oklahoma City Saturday at Spectrum Center.

“It’s hard to say,” Charlotte interim coach Stephen Silas said of struggling at home. “We’ve had to allude to some inconsistent play, I’d say. Some ups and downs. Last night [a 99-88 win against Utah], I thought we were pretty good. Today, I’d attribute it to playing so energetic last night, and not playing quite as energetic today. I don’t really know how to put my finger on it, as far as our home record. With these two games, it was definitely the back-to-back situation, where we didn’t have enough energy to finish.”

Tonight marked Silas’ last home game at the helm, as head coach Steve Clifford is set to return against the Wizards on Jan. 17. Clifford has not coached since a loss in Miami on Dec. 1.

Charlotte, which is 3-2 in 2018, has five home games remaining in January and seven before the All-Star break. Their performance in California needs to translate to Eastern Conference road games, as they stand 0-9, and have four games at Eastern teams like Miami and Atlanta before the break.

“Our defense is better,” guard Nic Batum said. “It starts on defense. On offense, if you look at the numbers, assists are better, the bench is playing better, and the defense is better. Like tonight, I think we ran out of gas in the last five minutes, but we were right there. We were right there until the start of the fourth [quarter]. You could see we didn’t have the same legs to finish the game, because we played late last night and early tonight. I mean, we stick together, and play like we’ve played together the last couple weeks, we can be a good team. We’ve just got to keep doing it.”

Player of note:

Forward Marvin Williams did not take a shot in the first quarter against the Thunder, but scored 13 points in the second quarter, shooting 2-of-2 from beyond the arc, and 5-of-5 from the field. He finished with 16 points, four assists and nine rebounds.

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