NBA: Gordon Hayward pours in 41 as Hornets rout Spurs

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Dec 16 2021 12:49 PM

Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (20) dribbles as Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) defends during the second half at American Airlines Center. File photo. Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
Charlotte Hornets forward Gordon Hayward (20) dribbles as Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) defends during the second half at American Airlines Center. File photo. Kevin Jairaj, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 41 points for the visiting Charlotte Hornets, who built a 21-point lead in the first quarter and romped to a 131-115 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

The Hornets never trailed, enduring a San Antonio surge in the second quarter before taking a 16-point advantage to the half. The Spurs never got closer that 10 points after halftime, and Charlotte led by as many as 30 points while waltzing to the finish.

Hayward shot 15 of 19 from the floor, 5 of 6 from beyond the arc and finished three points shy of his career high. Cody Martin added 21 points for the Hornets, with Miles Bridges hitting for 19, Jalen McDaniels contributing 15 points, Terry Rozier scoring 13, and P.J. Washington tallying 12 points in the win.

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The Hornets have won two of their past three games and are 1-1 to open a six-game road trip.

Bryn Forbes paced the Spurs with 25 points. Keldon Johnson while racked up 21, Derrick White scored 18, and Doug McDermott, Dejounte Murray and Devin Vassell hit for 10 points apiece. San Antonio finished a 2-3 homestand.

The Hornets flew out of the gate, going up 44-23 before setting for a 46-31 advantage after 12 minutes of play. Charlotte scored 30 of its points on 3-pointers in the period.

Charlotte's advantage was whittled down to eight after the Spurs opened the second quarter on a 13-6 run. However, most of San Antonio's work to climb back in the game was answered by the Hornets over the final six minutes before the break. Charlotte ran off a 15-3 run of its own to take a 71-51 edge with 1:54 to play in the half.

The Hornets led 73-57 at the break behind 20 points from Hayward, 13 each from Bridges and Martin and 10 by McDaniels off the bench. Charlotte outshot the Spurs 60.4 percent to 46.7 percent in the half and canned 13 shots from beyond the arc to just five by San Antonio.

Forbes paced the Spurs with 13 points for the Spurs in the first half.

For the game, Charlotte outshot San Antonio 59.3 percent to 43.3 percent.