The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 88-87 Friday in the Las Vegas Summer League contest at Thomas and Mack Center.
What would prove to be a four-quarter, nip-and-tuck battle began with the Thunder (0-1) building a 28-24 lead through one quarter. The Hornets (1-0) were able to chip a point from their deficit in an even tighter second period, which left Oklahoma City with a 50-47 halftime advantage.
Charlotte then played their best defensive quarter coming out of intermission, limiting the Thunder to 15 points and gaining a three-point advantage of their own in the process during the third. That set up a highly competitive final quarter, one which the Hornets narrowly escaped from a with a one-point win.
The Thunder’s 43.6 percent success rate from the field was markedly better than the Hornets’ 36.6 percent figure.
Rashawn Thomas led the way for the Thunder with 23 points. Dakari Johnson followed with 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. PJ Dozier contributed 12 points, six rebounds and one assist. Daniel Hamilton generated an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double that also included eight assists and one steal. Terrance Ferguson turned in seven points, five rebounds and two assists.
Malik Monk led a talented Hornets squad that boasts a solid amount of NBA experience with 23 points, complementing them with two assists, one rebound and two steals. Willy Hernangomez generated a 16-point, 14-rebound double-double that also included two assists and two blocks.
Arnoldas Kulboka, this year’s second-round pick, tallied 12 points, one rebound and one steal in 13 minutes off the bench. Dwayne Bacon managed 11 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Devonte’ Graham supplied 10 points, five assists and four rebounds.