CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Thomas scored 33 points, and the Brooklyn Nets built a 21-point, first-quarter lead and held on to defeat the Charlotte Hornets 133-121 on Monday night for their first win of the season.
Mikal Bridges had 24 points and Lonnie Walker IV and Dorian Finney-Smith each had added 19 for the Nets, who shot 56.3% from the field and scored 42 points in the first period.
Terry Rozier had 23 points and rookie Brandon Miller added a career-high 22 points and nine rebounds for the Hornets. Miller, the No. 2 pick in the draft, is averaging 17.3 points in his first three games with the Hornets.
The Nets played without Cam Johnson (calf strain) and Nic Claxton (ankle sprain), forcing them to go to a small lineup, but that didn’t stop them from dominating the Hornets early.
The Hornets’ 1-on-1 defense was routinely exposed, as they were unable to defend drives by Thomas, Bridges, Finney-Smith and Walker. LaMelo Ball struggled to cover his man and spent most of the game in foul trouble before fouling out.
Brooklyn came out of the gates fast, hitting its first eight shots. The Nets led 42-23 after the first quarter after shooting 62.1% from the floor and dominating the glass against the taller Hornets.
Miller is the only reason the Hornets remained in the game in the first half. The rookie had 16 points before the break and pinned a shot against the backboard on defense, bringing the home crowd to its feet.
Ball struggled the entire game.
The only former All-Star on the Hornets roster, Ball finished with eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, missing all six shots from beyond the arc as the Hornets lost their second straight game.
Both teams are 1-2.
Nets: Continue a four-game trip at Miami on Wednesday night
Hornets: Play their first road game of the season at Houston on Wednesday night.