Hornets rookie Washington nets 27 in 126-125 win over Bulls
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 24, 2019 09:51 AM
Charlotte Hornets forward PJ Washington, right, drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
By Steve Reed, Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Rookie PJ Washington erupted for 27 points on seven three-pointers, and the Charlotte Hornets opened the post-Kemba Walker era with a thrilling come-from-behind 126-125 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
The Hornets made 23 three-pointers, the most in franchise history in a regulation game. Their record is 24, but that came in a double-overtime game.
Devonte Graham was a difference-maker off the bench with 23 points on 6-of-7 three-point shooting to go along with eight assists, while Marvin Williams had 17 points on five three's.
Together, Washington, Graham and Williams were 18-of-25 from three-point range, offsetting the Bulls' 78 points in the paint.
Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 35 points and 17 rebounds. Chicago also got a strong game from their top draft pick Coby White, who had 17 points and seven assists in his NBA debut in his home state.
Washington, who wasn't announced as a starter until 90 minutes before tipoff, hit 5-of-8 from beyond the arc in the first half and set a Hornets franchise record for most points by a rookie in a season opener.
Cody Zeller added 15 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte.
Terry Rozier, Walker's replacement, struggled in his Charlotte debut with seven points on 2-of-10 shooting and wasn't even in the game in the final minute, instead replaced by the red-hot Graham.
The Hornets overcame a 10-point deficit with less than six minutes to play as Graham hit a pair of three-pointers to ignite a rally. Graham also had two key free throws to put the Hornets up three late in the game.
Instead of going for a triple to tie the game, Zach Lavine drove for a layup with four seconds left. The Hornets ran out the clock from there with the Bulls unable to foul.
Bulls: Outrebounded the Hornets 49-41. ... Allowed the Hornets to shoot 52.3 percent from three-point range.
Hornets: Coach James Borrego went with Rozier, Dwayne Bacon, Miles Bridges, Zeller and Washington as his starting five, a combination that has just 13 years of combined NBA experience. ... The previous record for points by a Hornets rookie in a season opener was Emeka Okafor with 19. ... Nic Batum left the game in the second half with a sprained hand.
Bulls: Visit the Grizzlies on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Hornets: Host the Timberwolves on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).