Gordon Hayward scored a career-high 44 points as the visiting Charlotte Hornets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 102-94 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday.
Hayward was 15-for-25 from the field and 4-for-9 on 3-pointers. Hayward broke his previous career high of 39 he last accomplished against Cleveland on Nov. 5, 2019.
Hayward also helped thwart an Atlanta comeback.
Atlanta overcame a 24-point first-half deficit and took an 86-85 lead on a three-point play from John Collins with 5:22 left. But Hayward answered with a basket and followed with a three-point play to restore Charlotte’s lead to four points, at 90-86, with 3:55 left.
LaMelo Ball came off the bench to add 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Terry Rozier scored 14.
The Atlanta offense never got in gear. Trae Young, who entered the game averaging 28.6 points, scored only two points in the first half and finished with a season-low seven points. Young made only 2 of 9 shots, was 0-for-3 on 3-pointers and had seven turnovers.
Collins led the Hawks with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Huerter came off the bench to make a season-high five 3-pointers to score 19 and De’Andre Hunter added 17. Clint Capela had a season-high 19 rebounds.
Atlanta has lost three straight and four of its last five. The Hawks were 0-3 on the homestand.
The Hornets took control from the first quarter. Hayward scored 12 in the opening quarter and Charlotte led 27-11. It was the fewest points scored by Atlanta in a quarter this season.
The Hornets took advantage of Atlanta’s poor perimeter shooting — 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) from the 3-point line in the first half — and led by as many as 24 points with a minute remaining. Charlotte led 59-40 at intermission.
Atlanta’s second unit helped trim the lead and a Bogdan Bogdanovic basket with 2:25 cut the lead to 10 points. But the Hornets, with a driving layup from Ball with 1.6 seconds left, took an 81-67 lead after three quarters.
The two teams play again on Saturday in Charlotte.
–Field Level Media