The Charlotte Hornets blew out the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday to go 3-3 on their West Coast trip.
An 18-point third quarter by Terry Rozier put this one out of reach, with the Hornets leading by 30 midway through the fourth quarter of a 135-102 victory.
The Hornets now have a week off for the All-Star break and they sure need it. Cody Zeller and Devonte Graham both missed this game, and P.J. Washington left in the second half with an ankle sprain.
Rozier finished with 31 points, and Gordon Hayward added 23. Ricky Rubio finished with 20 points and nine assists.
Terry Rozier with an amazing quarter
Rozier scored 18 points in the first seven minutes of the third quarter. He finished that quarter with 29 points overall.
Rozier made five 3s in the third quarter (on six attempts), which tied a Hornets record for 3s in any quarter.
P.J Washington suffers ankle sprain
As if the Hornets didn’t already have too many injuries to rotation players, starting power forward Washington sprained his right ankle in the second half, ending his night.
Washington will have a seven-day All-Star break to recover before the Hornets’ next game, against the Detroit Pistons on March 11.
Gordon Hayward back and wasted no time
Hayward missed the previous two games on this trip with a right hand contusion. He certainly wasn’t out of rhythm Wednesday, with 17 points and four assists in the first half.
Hayward made all seven of his first-half shots from 2-point range. This was classic of Hayward’s ability to make shots in traffic in the lane, whether it be a dribble-drive, a step back or one put-back when he beat out two Timberwolves at the rim.
Hayward knows coach James Borrego wants him taking more 3s, where he is 42% this season. But that knack for making guarded 2s is so valuable late in possessions, too.
Hayward detailed his hand injury
Hayward said after Wednesday morning shootaround that the contusion he suffered, landing hard in the game against the Utah Jazz, was on the exact spot on his shooting hand where he suffered an avulsion fracture in the preseason.
An avulsion fracture is when a piece of bone pulls away from a ligament or tendon. The injury in Utah didn’t cause another fracture, but Hayward’s shooting hand is still sore, and he can use the six days off for the All-Star break.
No Cody Zeller or Devonte Graham
The Hornets played without center Zeller (hip contusion) and guard Graham (soreness in and around his left knee cap).
Zeller was listed as questionable to play, after missing the previous two games, then was downgraded to out. Graham missed his seventh consecutive game with the knee injury.
Asked pregame about Graham’s injury, Borrego said he hopes Graham is ready after the All-Star break: “There’s a soreness, an uncomfortableness, that is there. We’ve got to be cautious with it.”