A big night from Charlotte’s rising star point guard helps them upset the Celtics Friday night.
When the NBA announced the 22 teams that would participate in their 2019-20 Season Restart, the Charlotte Hornets were left out of the fray. Only nine Eastern Conference teams got in. At 23-42, the Hornets ranked 10th, sitting just 1.5 games behind the ninth-place Washington Wizards.
So when a shoo-in team like the Boston Celtics (43-21, third in the East) steps into your arena, of course you’re going to give your maximum effort. Well, the hard work paid off, as the Hornets defeated the C’s 120-112 in the second game of the NBA 2K20 Simulation Showcase at Spectrum Center on Friday.
Starting point guard Devonte’ Graham led the charge for Charlotte, racking up 40 points in the victory. This include a 13-point first quarter and a 19-point third. He went 15-of-38 from the field to accomplish this feat, including 5-of-15 from 3-point range and 5-of-7 from the free throw line. Graham also added eight assists, three rebounds, and two steals to his ledger.
However, it wasn’t a one-man show at The Hive. The Hornets collectively punished the Celtics inside, outscoring them in the paint 70-58. They also forced five more turnovers than their opponent (12-7), including swiping 11 steals on the night. Charlotte did a good job of capitalizing on them, too, beating Boston 16-7 in the points-off-turnovers battle.
Along with Graham, P.J. Washington added 21 points and eight rebounds for Charlotte. Terry Rozier amassed 19 points, six assists, and two rebounds. Miles Bridges unleashed a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds along with five assists and two steals. Cody Zeller pitched in 12 points and nine rebounds.
For Boston, Jayson Tatum paced Boston with 37 points and 10 rebounds while also surrendering five turnovers. Jaylen Brown had 19 points and two boards. Gordon Hayward had a full night in the loss, finishing with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Kemba Walker fell just short of a triple-double, ending with 13 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. Marcus Smart came off the bench and chipped in 10 points, four assists, three rebounds, and three steals.
The next game of the NBA 2K20 Simulation Showcase will be
Saturday, July 4th Monday, July 6th, when the Wizards and Philadelphia 76ers will face off at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.