PJ Washington scores 25, rookie Brandon Miller provides spark as Hornets top Hawks 115-110 in opener
Terry Rozier added 24 points for the Hornets and LaMelo Ball shook off a rough first half and finished with 15 points and 10 assists.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - P.J. Washington scored 25 points, rookie Brandon Miller provided a huge spark with eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Charlotte Hornets held on to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 116-110 on Wednesday night in the teams’ season opener.
Terry Rozier added 24 points for the Hornets and LaMelo Ball shook off a rough first half and finished with 15 points and 10 assists. Mark Williams chipped in with 13 points and 15 rebounds for Charlotte.
Trae Young had 23 points to lead the Hawks, but shot 1 for 9 from 3-point range. Jalen Johnson had a career-high 21 points.
Miller, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, was the first man off the bench for the Hornets and knocked down a 3 from the left wing on his first shot attempt, drawing a roar from the home crowd. But the Alabama product picked up his third foul midway through the second quarter and had to sit most of the first half.
Miller returned and started to heat up in the fourth quarter, converting a step-back 3-pointer from the corner before burying another 3 from the top of the key to give the Hornets a 101-99 lead they never surrendered in the final 4:19.
Washington and Rozier hit runners to push Charlotte’s lead with six with about a minute to play.
Young closed the gap to three with his first 3 of the game, but Rozier answered with a short pull-up jumper from the baseline to make it a two-possession game with 22 seconds left to help secure the win.
Ball, playing in his first regular-season game since breaking his ankle eight months ago, struggled throughout the first half, missing all eight shots from the field. But he bounced back with four 3-pointers in the second half.
Hawks: Host Knicks on Friday night in their home opener.
Hornets: Host Pistons on Friday night.
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