Former Cat sets NBA rookie record for 3-pointers

Charlotte Hornets forward PJ Washington, right, drives to the basket against Chicago Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Rookie PJ Washington erupted for 27 points on seven 3-pointers, and the Charlotte Hornets opened the post-Kemba Walker era with a thrilling come-from-behind 126-125 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

The seven 3-pointers is an NBA record for a rookie debut.

The Hornets made 23 3-pointers, the most in franchise history in a regulation game. Their record is 24, but that came in a double-overtime game.

Devonte Graham was a difference-maker off the bench with 23 points on 6-of-7 3-point shooting to go along with eight assists, while Marvin Williams had 17 points on five 3s.

Together, Washington, Graham and Williams were 18 of 25 from 3-point range, offsetting the Bulls' 78 points in the paint.

Lauri Markkanen led the Bulls with 35 points and 17 rebounds. Chicago also got a strong game from their top draft pick Coby White, who had 17 points and seven assists in his NBA debut in his home state.

Washington, who wasn't announced as a starter until 90 minutes before tipoff, hit 5 of 8 from beyond the arc in the first half and set a Hornets franchise record for most points by a rookie in a season opener.

Cody Zeller added 15 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte.

Terry Rozier, Walker's replacement, struggled in his Charlotte debut with seven points on 2-of-10 shooting and wasn't even in the game in the final minute, instead replaced by the red-hot Graham.

The Hornets overcame a 10-point deficit with less than 6 minutes to play as Graham hit a pair of 3-pointers to ignite a rally. Graham also had two key free throws to put the Hornets up 3 late in the game.

Instead of going for a 3 to tie the game, Zach Lavine drove for a layup with 4 seconds left. The Hornets ran out the clock from there with the Bulls unable to foul.