The Charlotte Hornets were one of the winless teams in the NBA entering Tuesday’s match-up with the Chicago Bulls. The Hornets made sure they got the W in this one, racing off to a big lead in the first quarter and never looked back to earn the easy 130-105 victory.
Four of five starters finished in double-figure scoring for Charlotte led forward Nicolas Batum, who had 18 points and added 8 rebounds and 3 assists. Center Al Jefferson posted 14 points while point guard Kemba Walker had 13 points and 5 assists.
Off the bench, the Hornets also got help from Spencer Hawes (13 points), Jeremy Lin (15 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists) and Jeremy Lamb (20 points on 9-of-10 FGs and 2 assists).
Charlotte started the year with three straight losses, to the Miami Heat (104-94) in their season opener and twice to Atlanta Hawks (97-94 and 94-92). In their fourth game they made sure their offense wouldn’t sputter from start to finish.
The Hornets scored 37 points in the opening quarter against the Bulls to get the huge 17-point advantage after the first. They continued to pour it on and cruised to the blowout victory while shooting 51.6 percent from the field (47-of-91 FGs) and 60.9 percent from behind the arc (14-of-23 3FGs).
Charlotte also had the advantage on the boards, 52-33 and 12-4 on the offensive glass.
The Bulls were led by Jimmy Butler’s 26 points but other starters struggled. Nikola Mirotic finished with only 5 points on 2-of-11 shooting while Derrick Rose had 4 points on 2-of-8 field goals. Chicago, which dropped to 3-2 for the season, will try to return to the win column Thursday, when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Meanwhile, the Hornets needed the confidence-building win against Bulls with a three-game road trip up ahead. They face the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and Minnesota Timberwolves in their next three games.