NBA: LaMelo-less Charlotte blasts Knicks behind Bridges’ career night

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 18 2022 05:38 AM

Charlotte forward Miles Bridges grabs a rebound away from Knicks center Mitchell Robinson in their game January 17, 2022. Wendell Cruz, USA Today Sports/Reuters
Charlotte forward Miles Bridges grabs a rebound away from Knicks center Mitchell Robinson in their game January 17, 2022. Wendell Cruz, USA Today Sports/Reuters

Miles Bridges scored early and often on the way to a career-high 38 points as the visiting Charlotte Hornets drubbed the New York Knicks 97-87 on Monday afternoon.

Bridges shot 14-for-20 from the field, making five 3-pointers, and was 5-for-5 on free throws. He had 28 of Charlotte's first 45 points.

Terry Rozier provided 22 points and Gordon Hayward had 16 points as the Hornets won for the fifth time in their last six games -- the exception coming Friday with a loss to struggling Orlando.

The Hornets won this one without point guard LaMelo Ball, who was listed on the injury report with a non-COVID illness. The team announced he was available to play, but it turns out he wasn't needed.

Rozier picked up some of the play-making duties with seven assists. Bridges was next among the Hornets with five assists.

Charlotte used only eight players, other than a two-minute stretch from Nick Richards. It won despite only a total of seven points from its reserves, with normal super-sub Kelly Oubre Jr. remaining in the league's health and safety protocol.

Julius Randle and RJ Barrett both notched 18 points for the Knicks, who shot 40 percent from the field. Immanuel Quickley had 12 points and Obi Toppin supplied 11 points for New York, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.

The Knicks, who finished just 11 of 21 on foul shots, made the final score respectable by finishing the game on a 16-3 run.

Bridges, who also ended up with a team-high 12 rebounds, racked up 22 points in the first quarter. He didn't score in the first four minutes of the second quarter before picking up the offensive pace again.

The Hornets led 62-44 at halftime.

Barrett's 12 rebounds and Randle's 10 boards were tops for New York in that category.

New York finished with 15 turnovers compared to just seven for the Hornets.