Miles Bridges Drops Career-High 38 as Hornets Beat Knicks with LaMelo Ball Out

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2022

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 17: Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets shoots the ball during the game against the New York Knicks on January 17, 2022 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

A career day from Miles Bridges helped the Charlotte Hornets earn a 97-87 win over the New York Knicks on Martin Luther King Day.

LaMelo Ball didn't play due to an illness despite being considered available before the game, but Bridges picked up the slack with 38 points Monday at Madison Square Garden.

Bridges scored 28 in the first half alone to build a 62-44 lead.


🚨 Miles Bridges is up to 28 points in the 1st half! 🚨<br><br>Watch on League Pass<a href="https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa">https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa</a> <a href="https://t.co/fQTnMh9Ped">pic.twitter.com/fQTnMh9Ped</a>

The production continued in the second half as he reached a career high.

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

Miles Bridges switched hands mid-air 🀯 <a href="https://t.co/d2on1rwK0g">pic.twitter.com/d2on1rwK0g</a>

It was enough to lead the Hornets (24-20) to what could be a key win in the Eastern Conference. 

New York couldn't keep up offensively, trailing by double digits the entire second half. A late run cut the deficit from 23 down to 10, although the result was never truly in doubt.

RJ Barrett came through with 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks (22-22), but it wasn't enough to avoid the team's first home loss since before Christmas.

Notable Performances

Miles Bridges, SF, CHA: 38 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists

Terry Rozier, SG, CHA: 22 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds

Gordon Hayward, SF, CHA: 16 points, 4 assists, 2 steals

RJ Barrett, SG, NYK: 18 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 turnovers

Julius Randle, PF, NYK: 18 points, 10 rebounds, 1 block

Obi Toppin, PF, NYK: 11 points, 6 rebounds, plus-12

Miles Bridges Dominates to Carry Shorthanded Hornets

Kelly Oubre is in the NBA's health and safety protocols, while Ball was sidelined by a non-COVID-19 illness, taking away two of the most productive players on the roster.

Miles Bridges ensured the offense kept rolling without them.

Bridges kicked off the game with 22 points in the first quarter on 7-of-8 shooting, nearly outscoring the entire Knicks team, who had 23.

He beat his season average with three made threes in the first frame, although he found a lot of ways to score.

Charlotte Hornets @hornets

Contact? No problem! πŸ’ͺ<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> x <a href="https://twitter.com/MilesBridges?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MilesBridges</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AllFly?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#AllFly</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/HornetsOnBally?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HornetsOnBally</a> <a href="https://t.co/ctxtV3x8hD">pic.twitter.com/ctxtV3x8hD</a>

Bally Sports: Hornets @HornetsOnBally

MIS. MATCH. <a href="https://twitter.com/MilesBridges?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MilesBridges</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> <a href="https://t.co/2iZVsQ2L2l">pic.twitter.com/2iZVsQ2L2l</a>


Miles Bridges is ON FIRE 😳<br><br>He's got 20 PTS in the first quarter. <a href="https://t.co/IilFXhX7dX">pic.twitter.com/IilFXhX7dX</a>

The production gave Charlotte an 11-point lead after the first quarter, which ballooned up to 18 points by halftime.

Bridges continued to impress as the game progressed:

Eric Woodyard @E_Woodyard

Miles Bridges should be an NBA All-Star this year!

Kazeem Famuyide @Kazeem

Miles Bridges is looking like Miami Bron out there. If he isn’t bulldozing someone to the rack, he’s hitting someone for an easy bucket. This is a straight whooping

Dwayne Polee @teampolee5

Miles Bridges putting on a show in the Garden wow.

He finished with 38 on an efficient 14-of-20 shooting, including 5-of-9 from three-point range.

Bridges also got plenty of help from Terry Rozier, who hit several big shots to keep the Hornets in front.


Terry Rozier ends the half on a high note 😀 <a href="https://t.co/v0MlCR4ywM">pic.twitter.com/v0MlCR4ywM</a>

Charlotte Hornets @hornets

Rack 'em up πŸ‘Œ<a href="https://twitter.com/T_Rozzay3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@T_Rozzay3</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBAAllStar?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBAAllStar</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/HornetsOnBally?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@HornetsOnBally</a> <a href="https://t.co/sTOrAFuIeC">pic.twitter.com/sTOrAFuIeC</a>

The 60 points between this duo was more than enough to carry Charlotte to a win.

The Hornets have showcased impressive scoring depth this season with five players averaging at least 16 points per game this year. They showed Monday there is enough star power on the roster to win even shorthanded.

Knicks Can't Generate Enough Offense in Loss

The Knicks came in red hot with five wins in the last six games, led mostly by RJ Barrett. The third-year guard averaged 25.5 points in this stretch, making 50 percent of his three-point shots.

Barrett finished with 18, although he wasn't as efficient as his recent games while shooting 7-of-18, turning it over six times.

Stefan Bondy @SBondyNYDN

Hornets playing Barrett like all teams should -- don't let him go left.

The team needed more production from its role players and got it in spurts:


Mitchell Robinson HANDLES into the lane for the slam!<br><br>Watch Here: <a href="https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa">https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa</a> <a href="https://t.co/QSHcieUXnP">pic.twitter.com/QSHcieUXnP</a>


"ππ”πˆπ‚πŠπ‹π„π˜ π“π‡π‘πŽπ–π’ πˆπ“ 𝐔𝐏, π“πŽπππˆπ π“π‡π‘πŽπ–π’ πˆπ“ πƒπŽπ–π!"<br><br>πŸ”— <a href="https://twitter.com/IQ_GodSon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IQ_GodSon</a> + <a href="https://twitter.com/obitoppin1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@obitoppin1</a> <a href="https://t.co/ecQZizpb7G">pic.twitter.com/ecQZizpb7G</a>

Obi Toppin scored 11 points after totaling just 10 points in the previous six games combined. Mitchell Robinson reached double figures for the fifth straight game.

The Knicks still needed more, including from Julius Randle after a disappointing effort from the All-Star. Randle had 18 points and 10 rebounds, yet finished minus-22 on the floor while getting beat often by Bridges.

It continues a trend of the team struggling against quality opponents:

Fred Katz @FredKatz

A relevant stat with the Knicks down 18 to the 23-20 Hornets right now:<br><br>Since Nov. 9 ...<br><br>Knicks’ record vs. teams currently .500 or worse: 14-5<br><br>Knicks’ record vs. teams currently over .500: 1-12<br><br>They beat the teams they should and struggle against good ones.

The Hornets looked like a playoff team in this game while the Knicks left more questions than answers. 

What's Next?

The Knicks play the second leg of a back-to-back at home Tuesday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves as part of a four-game homestand. The Hornets travel to face the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.