The Charlotte Hornets fell to the New York Knicks 118-113. Coming off back to back losses, Charlotte really wanted a win tonight against New York. For most of the game, it seemed like it would happen. Unfortunately, the Knicks did not fully cooperate as they stormed back in the 4th quarter. The Knicks were lead by their star Kristaps Porzingis who has 28 points and 5 rebounds. Doug McDermott had 20 points off the bench. Charlotte was lead by team captain Kemba Walker with 21 points and 7 assists. Kemba always seems to show up to play in front of the New York crowd, but tonight he clearly wore down toward the end of the game. Rookie Malik Monk added 21 points off the bench.
For most of the game, it seemed like Charlotte would come away with the win. The Hornets lead by 11 going into the fourth quarter. The offense was rolling. But even with the lead, there were signs that made every Hornets fan nervous. Most notably, for the game, the Knicks shot 60%. For a team that has made its identity on the defensive end, that number had to drive Coach Clifford nuts. Charlotte was able to stay in the lead despite not playing good defense by countering with some good offense, but as Charlotte got cold the Knicks made their move. New York ended the game on a 12-2 run.
Dwight Howard continues to make Cho look good. The big man had 21 points and 9 rebounds, shooting 9-11 from the field. Howard also went 3-3 from the free throw line! Michael Carter Williams continues to get better as he adjusts to the Hornets lineup. Tonight he was the first guard off the bench and he gives Charlotte something they haven’t had in a long time: a big backup point guard.
The biggest negative is losing an 11 point 4th quarter lead. Charlotte, which was the team that played with energy for most of the game, got outworked in the 4th quarter. The Hornets had several chances down the stretch to close it out but failed to execute. Frank Kaminsky had a lot of trouble on defense tonight.
Number to Know: 60
New York’s shooting percentage. Expect Coach Clifford to address that number with the team.
Charlotte’s road trip continues with a trip to the red hot Boston Celtics, winner of 9 straight. Hang in there Hornets fans.