The Charlotte Hornets have addressed at least one potential distraction now that Miles Bridges is back in action.
There is still the matter of the Hornets getting their act together in terms of winning games, something that has been troublesome so far this season.
It’s not likely to get any easier for Charlotte, which has a home game Saturday night against the surging New York Knicks.
Before Friday, Bridges hadn’t played an NBA game in more than a year stemming from a domestic violence case. He served a 10-game suspension to begin this season, then finally was on the court in Charlotte’s 130-99 home loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday.
Bridges scored 17 points in 33 minutes in a reserve role in his season debut. Coach Steve Clifford said he was encouraged by the kind of energy that Bridges can provide the struggling team.
“I know we lost the game, but it was good to be in front of the fans again,” Bridges said. “I always feel like I can do better.”
The Knicks are in a much better flow after winning five of their past six games, including the past two on the road.
For the Hornets, it’s time to get things together after three straight losses. All things considered, it sounds as if Bridges was comfortable in his first game of the season as he tries to focus on basketball.
“I was happy with the response I got from everybody,” Bridges said. “That’s all that matters. I’m just here to play basketball. I’m just trying to get out there and help the team as much as I can.”
For Charlotte center Mark Williams, it was his first game playing with Bridges. He said he can see the type of impact that the return of Bridges could mean for the team.
“Just at practice and him being in the locker room, energetic and working hard, I know he’s excited to get out there and so am I,” Williams said. “For him to be on the floor with us will be a big boost, especially recently with all the guys that have been out.”
The Knicks are 4-3 in road games after their 120-99 triumph over the Washington Wizards on Friday, when Jalen Brunson racked up 32 points and Immanuel Quickley had 27 points off the bench. Add in a solid outing from Donte DiVincenzo, who had 14 points and four rebounds, and things have come together for the Knicks.
“I thought Donte gave us great minutes and then Quick gave us great minutes,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “So we got terrific wing play from those two guys.”
The Saturday game is a rematch of the Knicks’ 129-107 home victory on Sunday, when the Knicks shot 54 percent from the field and received key contributions from RJ Barrett (24 points), Julius Randle (23) and Brunson (20). New York scored at least 30 points in every quarter of that game. LaMelo Ball had 32 points for Charlotte.
Barrett has missed the past three games due to migraines. His status is questionable for the game in Charlotte.
–Field Level Media
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