McDaniels has career-high 21 points, Hornets beat Thunder

Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges, rear, shoots in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Ty Jerome (16) and forward Jaylen Hoard (8) in the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Jalen McDaniels had a career-high 21 points in his second career start to help the Charlotte Hornets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-102 on Wednesday night.

McDaniels also had six rebounds and three assists. Terry Rozier scored 17 points, Miles Bridges had 16 and Devonte’ Garaham and Cody Zeller added 15 each, and Zeller had14 rebounds.

Aleksej Pokusevski led the Thunder with a career-high 25 points behind a franchise rookie-record seven 3-pointers. Theo Maledon also had 25 points.

Charlotte’s 11-point victory followed its most lopsided loss of the season, a 116-86 drubbing to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.

The Hornets held the Thunder scoreless for nearly the first four minutes, jumping out to an 8-0 lead and briefly took a 10-point advantage in the opening frame. The early surge prompted Oklahoma City to call a timeout and collected itself to outscore the Hornets 21-14 in the final 5:47 of the period.

Stabilized by Pokusevski’s career night from beyond the arc, the Thunder pulled ahead of the Hornets in the second quarter. A difficult defensive night from Oklahoma City, especially in the interior, led to Charlotte regaining control and taking a 56-51 lead at the break.

McDaniels, who made 6 of 9 shots from the floor in the second half, helped the Hornets maintain their lead and pick up their third victory of a six-game road swing.

TIP-INS

Hornets: LaMelo Ball (right wrist), Gordon Hayward (right foot) and Malik Monk (right ankle) were unavailable. … Charlotte improved to 13-15 on the road. … The Hornets scored 22 second-chance points to the Thunder’s four.

Thunder: The Thunder have lost four consecutive games to start the month of April. … Darius Bazley (left shoulder), Luguentz Dort (concussion protocol), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (right foot), Josh Hall (concussion protocol), Mike Muscala (right ankle) and Isaiah Roby (concussion protocol) missed Tuesday’s game.

UP NEXT

Hornets: At Milwaukee on Friday night.

Thunder: Host Cleveland on Friday night.

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