Pelicans vs. Hornets Reactions: The good, the bad and the Lonzo and LaMelo Ball
In the second meeting between Lonzo and LaMelo Ball, the older brother got revenge as the Pelicans escaped with a big 112-110 on the road over the Hornets.
Both sides had double-digit leads on the night, New Orleans leading by 10 in the first quarter and Charlotte storming back with a 42-point second quarter that saw their advantage peak at 14.
The Hornets controlled much of the middle two frames but the Pelicans chipped away at the lead in the fourth and eventually moved ahead on a Jaxson Hayes tip-in midway through the frame. From there, New Orleans never trailed again.
Jaxson Hayes had a pair of makes in the final 1:42 to give the Pelicans a two-point lead before extending the advantage to four points with 12.7 seconds to go. He finished with 18 points and eight rebounds while Eric Bledsoe tallied 24 points and 11 assists for New Orleans.
Terry Rozier led all scorers for Charlotte with a career-high 43 points. LaMelo Ball had 22 points while Cody Zeller had 17 off the bench.
The Good: Eric Bledsoe and Terry Rozier
The matchup tabbed as Lonzo vs. LaMelo Ball actually was upstaged by both players' backcourt mate. The Hornets saw Rozier return to his early-year form by exploding for 40 points. He was red-hot from the field, going 15-of-24 overall and 6-of-9 from the 3-point line. Across the court, Bledsoe had one of the best games of his Pelicans tenure with 24 points and 11 assists. Both performances were needed as both teams were undermanned coming into the game.
The Bad: Impact on Hornets playoff race
One team was going to see their playoff race severely impacted on the night and Charlotte stumbling in the fourth quarter sealed their fate. The loss effectively ends any chance the Hornets had at getting out of the play-in games. Even more, it makes their chances of getting to the seventh seed more difficult. Boston's loss to Miami on Sunday meant Charlotte could have moved to within a game of the Celtics with four games left. Instead, the Celtics remain two games up with four games left while also holding the tiebreaker.
Lonzo Ball: Struggle from range
For the second game running, Lonzo struggled from the field. He finished 4-of-14 overall and 4-of-11 from the 3-point line. Two of those makes came back-to-back to spark a run that helped New Orleans get back into the game. He did add six assists and three rebounds but it was an overall subpar game offensively even in the victory.
LaMelo Ball: Individual success
Whereas Lonzo struggled individually but got the team win, the inverse was true of LaMelo on the night. He finished with 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting overall and 2-of-5 shooting from range. LaMelo also added five assists and four rebounds. However, he couldn't help his team to the win late. He missed a pair of free throws with 1:29 left that would have tied the game, then couldn't come down with a defensive rebound 21.3 seconds left and New Orleans up two points. The Pelicans scored on the ensuing possession and Charlotte could not dig out of that hole.