Brandon Miller, Tre Mann lead Hornets past Hawks 122-99 for season-high third straight win


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Brandon Miller scored 26 points, Tre Mann added 21 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and the Charlotte Hornets won their season-high third straight game, 122-99 over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.

Miles Bridges chipped in with 17 points for Charlotte, which improved to 3-0 since adding Mann, Grant Williams, Vasilije Micic, Seth Curry and Davis Bertans at the trade deadline.

Williams had 15 points and 10 rebounds while Micic added 13 points and five assists off the bench.

“Without the guys we brought in, we wouldn't be winning, for sure,” Miller said. “They helped push all of the young guys and the older guys. Everybody is coaching each other and making each other better.”

Over the last three games, the Hornets have averaged 28 assists and limited their opponents to 102.3 points per game.

“The ball is not sticking and our defensive energy has gone up a lot since our first game with them,” Miller said.

It was the first double-digit win of the season for Charlotte (13-41). Fans chanted “Let’s go Hornets!” after coach Steve Clifford emptied his bench with 1:11 left in the rare blowout. The new five has energized the fan base.

Clifford attributed the Hornets jelling so quickly to adding veterans with basketball savvy.

“The smarter your group is, everything becomes easier,” Clifford said. “I thought we could be good offensively, but now I'm starting to see the defense can also be really good without having to run around and double team. And Grant Williams is a big part of that.”

Clifford said Williams, a Charlotte native, is valuable because of his defensive versatility, physicality and communication on defense.

De’Andre Hunter had 21 points off the bench to lead the Hawks (24-31), while Jalen Johnson added 19 points and 12 rebounds. Trae Young was limited to 12 points and 12 rebounds after being fined $35,000 earlier in the day by the NBA for making the “money” gesture at an official.

Young did not speak to reporters after the game.

The Hornets controlled the game from the onset and built a 61-55 halftime lead behind the rookie Miller, who had 18 points and four 3s at the break. Charlotte extended its lead to 16 after the third quarter, holding the Hawks to 25 points in the period.

Mann set the tone early for the Hornets with eight points, four rebounds and three assists in the first quarter. He repeatedly battled for rebounds in traffic and came down with them among taller players out of pure determination.

“I feel like that’s what I can do," said Mann, who was acquired from Oklahoma City. "Coming in the league, I had the reputation of just scoring. In OKC, that’s what it was, but I always felt like I added more to a team, that I can bring more to a team. Now I get that opportunity, so I’m just trying to go out there and show that I can do more than just score.”

Charlotte made 15 3s and shot 49.4% from the floor while limiting the Hawks to 40.4% from the field.

Johnson said injuries to Clint Capela and Onyeka Okongwu have contributed to Atlanta's recent struggles and that the team needs to take advantage of the upcoming All-Star break.

“Clint was playing good before he got hurt and Onyeka was playing good before he got hurt, so it’s tough losing two guys like that who are huge pieces to what we do,” Johnsons said. “It’s just next-man-up mentality so we’ve just got to keep moving forward and once they get back, just get better.”