Wednesday NBA Roundup: Charlotte Hornets Emerging as Surprise Threat Out East

December 9th, 2015 by Grant Hughes Leave a reply »

After a horrible 2014-15 season, the Charlotte Hornets have emerged to rank among the NBA's most pleasant first-quarter surprises.

Believe it or not, that was the easy part.

With a roster full of short-timers and a demonstrated organizational penchant for winning now, the real work—capitalizing on an unforeseeable hot start—is ahead.

Charlotte appeared ready for the task again on Wednesday, downing the Miami Heat by a final of 99-81 and running its winning streak to three games. The win moved the Hornets into second place in the East.

Behind a triple-double from Nicolas Batum, whose resurgent shooting and unselfish facilitation have transformed a once-stagnant offense, the Hornets bolted out to a 20-point halftime lead that they extended by another six points in the third period.

Batum needed just 28 minutes to amass 10 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, and his constant ball movement influenced the entire team. Charlotte registered 27 assists on 40 made baskets, turning the rock over just 11 times against a Heat defense that ranks second in the league, per

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