The Charlotte Hornets, feeling optimistic after an active offseason, will play their home opener on Saturday against Oklahoma City starting at 7 p.m.
The Hornets are 0-1 despite a career-high 42 points from guard Terry Rozier in their season-opener at Cleveland, which defeated Charlotte, 121-114, on Wednesday.
Rozier shot 15-of-23 from the field and 10-of-16 from 3-point range. Also leading the charge for the Hornets was newly acquired forward Gordon Hayward, who totaled 28 points and seven assists while making 11-of-18 field goal attempts in his first game with his new team.
Rozier and Hayward didn’t have enough help on the offensive end. The other eight players who saw minutes Wednesday shot a combined 19-of-49 from the field (38.8%), including 2-of-20 from 3-point range.
Making his NBA debut Wednesday night, Charlotte rookie LaMelo Ball — the No. 3 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft — played 16 minutes. Ball didn’t score (0-of-5 shooting). The 6-foot-6 point guard had while assists, two steals and three turnovers.
Defensively, Charlotte allowed Cleveland to shoot 52.9% from the field and 46.7% from beyond the arc as a team. The Cavs were led by the backcourt duo of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, who combined for 47 points and 11 assists while shooting 16-of-29 from the field and 7-of-12 from 3-point range.
Cleveland dominated the glass, out-rebounding Charlotte 50-32.
Charlotte lost starting center Cody Zeller to injury in the season opener. Zeller left the game with an injury that turned out to a fracture in his left hand, and it will keep him out of the lineup for at least four weeks, according to nba.com.