By Sam Perley, hornets.com
Result: Shooting woes and frequent giveaways cost the Hornets dearly as they fell to the hometown Pistons, 102-90, on Wednesday, Oct. 18 in Detroit. Playing without its starting small forward and top defender, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (personal), Charlotte coughed up the ball 17 total times leading to a crippling 25 points for the Pistons. The Hornets’ struggles with Detroit continued as they’ve now lost five of the last six meetings between the two sides.
Turning Point: The Hornets trailed by two points at the end of the opening 12 minutes, but were outscored 27-18 in the second quarter to enter halftime down double digits. Detroit’s Langston Galloway scored a team-high 11 points in the frame, helping the Pistons build a comfortable lead they held for the remainder of the game.
Hornets Player of the Game: Dwight Howard posted 10 points, a game-high 15 rebounds and a team-high two blocks in his Charlotte debut. Howard now has 667 career double-doubles, the highest total amongst any active NBA player.
Pistons Player of the Game: Tobias Harris erupted for a game-high 27 points (17 in the first quarter), 10 rebounds and three assists in the victory. The former Tennessee Volunteer’s scoring performance just missed matching his season high from the entire 2016-17 NBA campaign (28 points vs. New York on March 11, 2017).
Game Notes: Kemba Walker tallied team-high marks in scoring (24 points) and assists (4) to go along with six rebounds… Jeremy Lamb added 15 points, four rebounds and two assists… Cody Zeller chipped in eight points and nine rebounds off the bench… Rookies Malik Monk (three points) and Dwayne Bacon (eight points) both made their NBA debuts… Bacon also became just the seventh Charlotte rookie to start the season opener in franchise history… The Hornets drained 23-of-29 free-throw attempts (79.3 percent), while the Pistons knocked down 11-of-12 shots from the charity stripe (91.7 percent)… Detroit outscored Charlotte in the paint, 44-30… Dwight Howard and Eric Moreland were each given technical fouls in the second quarter.
Quote of the Night: “Obviously, the thing that stands out is the turnover game. We had 17 [turnovers] for 26 [Detroit] points. It led to too many easy baskets. It put us in the hole early. [The Pistons] had nine [turnovers]. It speaks to ball pressure, passing lane pressure, anticipation off the ball. That was the difference in the game.” – Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford
Next Up: The Hornets will play host to the Atlanta Hawks for their home opener starting at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 20 in Charlotte. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.