Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (right) was ejected in the second quarter of Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers for arguing a call in the second quarter. Chuck Burton AP
Charlotte Hornets forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (right) was ejected in the second quarter of Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers for arguing a call in the second quarter. Chuck Burton AP

Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets drop 4th straight in loss to 76ers; MKG ejected

March 06, 2018 09:28 PM

Do NBA players still hit a wall seven seasons into their careers?

Charlotte Hornets star Kemba Walker struggled greatly Tuesday, missing his first seven shots and having little impact in a 128-114 home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. This was the Hornets’ fourth consecutive defeat, the previous three on the road against the Sixers, the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors.

Hornets center Dwight Howard scored a season-high 30 points. Walker had a season-low five points, making one of his nine shots from the field and all five from 3-point range.

The Hornets (28-37) are running out of anything but a mathematical chance of qualifying for the playoffs. The 76ers improved to 35-28.

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The Hornets suffered a key loss in the first half, when small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was ejected by officials for the first time in his six-season NBA career. That limited the Hornets in their options to guard Sixers rookie-of-the-year candidate Ben Simmons (16 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds)

Walker missed his first eight shots before making a pull-up jump shot over 76ers center Joel Embiid with about eight minutes left.

Three who mattered

Simmons: He is somewhat LeBron-like, with point guard skills in a power forward’s body.

Howard: He did a solid job against Embiid, after struggling Sunday in Toronto.

Robert Covington: An under-publicized factor in the 76ers’ improvement.

Observations

▪  The Hornets are waiting on a decision whether reserve point guard Michael Carter-Williams will have surgery on his left shoulder, which would end his season. Carter-Williams suffered a serious sprain in the first half of Sunday’s loss in Toronto. He played in the second half with a brace on the joint, but was ruled out of Tuesday’s game, and is seeking additional medical opinion.

▪  With Carter-Williams out, rookie Malik Monk became the Hornets’ backup point guard. Julyan Stone was on the active roster as the Hornets’ third point guard option, and the Hornets called up Marcus Paige from the Greensboro Swarm, but he was not on the active roster.

▪  Hornets power forward Marvin Williams played (and started), despite missing shootaround with a migraine headache.

▪  Backup center Cody Zeller, who missed two games last week, said he was told in the recovery process from left knee surgery that he might experience the sort of swelling he had intermittently the rest of the season.

▪  With Kidd-Gilchrist out, Treveon Graham started the second half at small forward.

Worth mentioning

▪  Howard was charged with his 14th technical foul, two away from an automatic one-game suspension.

▪  Howard hit a 3-pointer from 30 feet at the half.

▪  Former 76ers superstar Allen Iverson was at the game, as was Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly.

Report card

B OFFENSE: Howard’s scoring in the lane somewhat compensated for such an uncommonly off night for Walker.

F DEFENSE: Simmons’ dribble-penetration was again a big problem, and the 76ers had plenty of wide-open 3-pointers.

C- COACHING: Not much flexibility for adjustments in this one, after Kidd-Gilchrist was ejected and Walker was uncharacteristically missing so many shots.

76ERS 128, HORNETS 114

Philadelphia

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Covington

30:04

7-11

3-3

4

2

2

22

Saric

28:03

7-11

1-2

5

3

2

19

Embiid

28:47

8-16

2-2

5

4

4

18

Redick

23:35

4-8

3-4

2

2

2

14

Simmons

32:55

8-9

0-0

8

13

1

16

Belinelli

28:17

4-9

2-2

4

3

1

11

McConnell

24:09

4-7

0-0

2

5

1

8

Ilyasova

23:36

4-7

1-2

6

1

3

11

Johnson

12:31

3-4

0-0

5

2

3

7

Holmes

3:03

0-3

0-0

2

0

1

0

Luwawu-Cabarrot

3:03

1-1

0-0

0

0

0

2

Anderson

1:57

0-1

0-0

1

0

0

0

Totals

240:00

50-87

12-15

44

35

20

128

Percentages: FG .575, FT .800. 3-Point Goals: 16-33, .485 (Covington 5-9, Saric 4-7, Redick 3-5, Ilyasova 2-3, Johnson 1-1, Belinelli 1-5, Embiid 0-3). Team Rebounds: 7. Team Turnovers: 14 (16 PTS). Blocked Shots: 4 (Covington 2, Embiid, Ilyasova). Turnovers: 14 (Embiid 3, Redick 3, Belinelli 2, Ilyasova 2, Covington, Johnson, Saric, Simmons). Steals: 6 (Covington 2, McConnell 2, Belinelli, Johnson). Technical Fouls: Embiid, 8:24 third; coach 76ers (Defensive three second), 4:34 third.

Charlotte

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Kidd-Gilchrist

14:00

1-2

3-4

2

1

0

5

Williams

23:54

4-10

0-0

5

1

0

11

Howard

30:20

12-17

5-7

6

0

2

30

Batum

31:26

3-5

4-4

4

10

0

12

Walker

34:45

1-9

3-6

3

7

2

5

Graham

24:52

5-9

1-2

1

1

4

12

Kaminsky

20:44

4-9

2-2

2

0

2

11

Lamb

17:58

3-5

2-2

2

3

0

10

Monk

15:37

3-10

2-2

2

2

2

9

Zeller

14:18

4-4

0-0

3

1

0

8

Bacon

5:22

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

0

Stone

3:22

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

0

Hernangomez

3:22

0-0

1-2

1

0

0

1

Totals

240:00

40-80

23-31

33

26

12

114

Percentages: FG .500, FT .742. 3-Point Goals: 11-29, .379 (Williams 3-7, Lamb 2-2, Batum 2-3, Howard 1-1, Kaminsky 1-2, Graham 1-3, Monk 1-6, Walker 0-5). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 10 (13 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Howard 3, Hernangomez, Walker). Turnovers: 10 (Batum 3, Howard 3, Walker 2, Kaminsky, Monk). Steals: 7 (Lamb 2, Batum, Howard, Kaminsky, Monk, Williams). Technical Fouls: Kidd-Gilchrist, 3:52 second; Kidd-Gilchrist, 3:52 second; Howard, 2:00 second.

Philadelphia

32

39

30

27

128

Charlotte

29

30

32

23

114

Att.—15,600 (19,077). T—2:11.

Officials—Tom Washington, Justin Van Duyne, Pat Fraher