Listen Live
Detroit Pistons v Charlotte Hornets

Source: David Jensen / Getty

For the second straight game to open the season, the Charlotte Hornets struggled out of the gate against an opponent. While Wednesday the team got away with it, they were unable to do so Friday night, falling 111-99 to the Detroit Pistons.

The Hornets won on opening night despite turning the ball over 19 times against Atlanta, and produced an equally gaudy number of giveaways with 17 vs. Detroit. Charlotte’s woes continued as well in the shooting department, and while they were able to course correct in the opener to shoot 50% against the Hawks, Detroit held the Hornets to 38% (33-88) shooting and only seven made three-pointers on 28 attempts (25%).

Charlotte trailed by as many as 15, trailed by seven at halftime, but couldn’t get the game closer than three past the midway point of the fourth quarter. Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford lamented his team’s inability to rebound (52-41 in favor of Detroit), especially on the offensive glass (16 second-chance points on 11 Detroit offensive rebounds).

“Guys gotta be more ready,” Clifford said. “There’s nothing more important than their physicality, their rim-protecting and their rebounding numbers.”

One thing that Clifford also mentioned pregame was the fact that two of the team’s best players are still trying to find their rhythm because of offseason injury rehab.

LaMelo Ball has struggled to find his shooting stroke to start the year, but still contributed with 10 free throws made in 12 trips, tying Terry Rozier for the team lead in points with 20. After a double-double with 13 points and 15 rebounds in the opener, Friday night was one to forget for Mark Williams as foul trouble limited him to just two points and three rebounds in 21 minutes.

By contrast, Brandon Miller picked up right where he left off, adding 17 after drawing pregame praise from his Head Coach.

The Hornets close out their season-opening homestand against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. Pregame coverage begins at 6 PM with the tip time at 7 PM on Sports Radio 92.7 WFNZ.