Hornets fall to Warriors in Summer League opener
LAS VEGAS — Facing the defending Summer League champions was no easy task for the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.
The Golden State Warriors took a 11-0 advantage early in the contest and led wire-to-wire in a 70-58 victory against the Hornets at the Thomas and Mack Center.
“I’m disappointed," said Hornets Associate Head Coach Patrick Ewing, who is coaching Charlotte's Summer League Team. "It’s our first game, but it’s all about learning. We made a lot of mistakes I felt like we shouldn’t have made. We’re going to watch some film tomorrow and try to make some adjustments. Show them the mistakes they’ve made. Hopefully, we play better on Sunday.”
Nemanja Nedovic led the Warriors (1-0) with 17 points and five rebounds, while former UNC standout James Michael McAdoo added 11 points.
Hornets first-round draft picks Noah Vonleh and P.J. Hairston struggled in their team's debut.
Vonleh made just one of his 12 attempts from the field, finishing the game with two points and six rebounds.
"I didn't really step up like I thought I would," Vonleh said. "I've definitely got to come back better next game. I think definitely I will."
Meanwhile, Hairston, who has been surrounded in a cloud of legal issues recently, was 2-for-16 from the field with seven points.
Hairston said there were no nerves in his NBA Summer League debut.
"I wouldn't say jitters," Hairston said. "I just had an off game. I think that next game it'll be a lot better now that I've got a feeling of what's going on, and I've got a feel of the game."
Ewing said Vonleh and Hairston are both key to the Summer League team's success.
“If both P.J. and Noah don’t play well for us, we don’t have a chance to win," Ewing said. "I thought some of the other guys did a pretty good job of coming in and playing well, but as a whole, we can’t make the mistakes we did in the first half. It’s what dug us a hole. In the second half, we played with a lot more energy. We didn’t make the same mistakes that we made. We also didn’t turn the ball over as much as we did in the first half.”
The Hornets (0-1) shot just 28.2 percent from the field and 10.7 percent from 3-point range in Friday's game.
Mickey McConnell, a Saint Mary's product who spent last season with Hairston as a member of the Texas Legends NBA D-League squad, led Charlotte offensively against the Warriors with 19 points.
"I was trying to be aggressive," said McConnell, a 6-foot point guard. "I had some open shots. My mindset was just to be aggressive and try to get the big to make a decision. That's kind of what happened tonight."
Charlotte will take two days off before playing Sacramento in their second Summer League game on Sunday at 6 p.m. in the COX Pavilion.
The Kings were 85-69 losers to the San Antonio Spurs in their Summer League debut on Friday.
McConnell expects his squad to continue to gel and get better.
"Guys are excited. It's the first game, so everyone is a little out of control and playing a little too fast," he said. "It's a new group. We've practiced four times. I think we'll be alright. (We need to) concentrate a little harder. Focus on the little things."