EditorsNote: Added Graham 3-pointer detail in 5th graf; More detail added in 6th graf
Dwayne Bacon drained several late-game shots as part of the Hornets’ record-setting performance, and P.J. Washington scored 27 points in his NBA debut as Charlotte earned a 126-125 victory against the visiting Chicago Bulls in the season opener for both teams Wednesday night.
Charlotte set an NBA record by making 23 baskets from 3-point range in a season-opening game. The previous mark was 19. Washington made seven 3-pointers, an NBA record for a player in his debut.
Overall, the Hornets were 23-for-44 from long distance, with the 23 treys also representing a franchise record.
Washington’s point total was the most by a Hornets rookie in an NBA debut. Washington had 17 first-half points, aided by five 3-pointers.
Devonte’ Graham poured in 23 points (6-for-7 on 3-pointers) and Bacon finished with 22 for the Hornets. Marvin Williams added 17 points (sinking five 3-pointers) and Cody Zeller contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds.
For Chicago, Lauri Markkanen pumped in 35 points with 17 rebounds, and Thaddeus Young and Coby White both notched 17 points off the bench. Zach LaVine had 16 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
The Hornets led 63-55 at halftime, but the Bulls surged in front midway through the third quarter.
Reserve guard Kris Dunn scored five straight points as the Bulls broke a tie with an 11-1 fourth-quarter run.
Shortly after, the Hornets scored nine points on 3-pointers in barely more than a two-minute span to pull within 118-114. Graham hit the final two 3-pointers during the spurt. Bacon notched the next four points to tie the game.
The Bulls went more than four minutes without scoring until Markkanen’s free throw at the 1:55 mark.
Bacon’s 3-pointer made it 123-119 with 1:11 left, and the Hornets held on from there.
Charlotte was 10-for-22 on first-half 3-point attempts compared to Chicago’s 3-for-16. The Bulls were 9-for-30 from long range for the game.
Markkanen scored 12 of Chicago’s first 16 points.
White, the Bulls’ first-round draft pick in June, came off the bench for his NBA debut, scoring 11 first-half points in 12 minutes.
White was playing in his home state and also in the state where he played one college season for North Carolina.
Charlotte forward Nicolas Batum left in the third quarter with a sprained right hand and didn’t return to action. He was scoreless in 11 minutes off the bench.
—Field Level Media