Hornets Stay Hot, Handle Wizards in Washington
Kemba Leads Way with 24 Points, Kaminsky Adds 23 Off Bench including Record 6 Treys
By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com
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The Charlotte Hornets know it’s going to take a heck of a run if they are going to get back into playoff contention with a little more than a quarter of the season remaining. On Friday in Washington, they stayed hot, tying a season high with their third-consecutive win, 122-105, over Washington. Kemba Walker led the way with 24 points, while Frank Kaminsky poured in 23 off the bench, including a career-high six three-pointers.
Charlotte came out strong in the contest, building its lead to as many as 20 points in the first half, but when Bradley Beal knocked down a three-pointer with 8:14 remaining in the third quarter to cap a 9-0 Wizards run, the Hornets saw their lead shrink to just six points, 75-69. Then it was Kemba time! With their two-time All-Star having been held in check in the first half with just four points, Walker stepped up in the third quarter and helped carry the team. Following a huge baseline three from the left side by Marvin Williams, Walker converted two free throws and knocked down a trey from the left side to cap an 8-0 Charlotte run and put the Hornets up, 83-69, with just under seven minutes remaining in the frame. Walker continued his heroics throughout the third quarter, finishing with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc, in the stanza as the Hornets refused to let Washington get any closer than six points on their way to a third-consecutive victory.
Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Frank Kaminsky gear here)
Frank Kaminsky led both teams’ reserves with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field, including a career-best six three-pointers in nine attempts. Kaminsky became the fifth different player in franchise history to hit 6+ treys off the bench in a single game (Dell Curry, Ben Gordon, Troy Daniels, Marco Belinelli). Kaminsky also dished out four assists, grabbed three rebounds and blocked one shot in 25 minutes off the bench.
Wizards Player of the Game
Bradley Beal did everything he could to try and keep Washington in the game on its home court, totaling a game-high 33 points on 11-of-21 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from long range. Beal also hauled down six rebounds, dropped six dimes and swiped two steals in a game-high 40 minutes of action.
One night after all five starters scored in double digits against Brooklyn, the Hornets nearly had a repeat in Washington. Walker scored a team-best 24 points, marking his 37th game with 20+ points this season, while Marvin Williams (15), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (14) and Dwight Howard (11) also his the double-digit scoring mark. Nic Batum (eight points) was the only starter not to reach double digits in the scoring column… Jeremy Lamb (13 points) joined Frank Kaminsky (23) as Hornets reserves scoring in double figures. Charlotte’s bench outscored Washington, 50-26… Kemba Walker played his 500th NBA game when things tipped off against the Wizards… With the victory, the Hornets have taken the season series with Washington. Charlotte is 3-0 against the Wizards this season with the fourth matchup slated for March 31 in Washington at the Capital One Arena… The Hornets are now 6-0 in their black, Buzz City uniforms this season… Charlotte forced 14 turnovers in this one while coughing the ball up nine times itself. However, the Hornets held a 28-7 advantage in points off turnovers… Charlotte also topped the Wizards in second-chance points (15-11) and fastbreak points (12-10).
Quote of the Night
“I feel good. Obviously, when the ball goes in you just get more and more confidence. It felt like everything that I was putting up was going to go in. It was just one of those nights for me and I hope I can keep it going.” – Frank Kaminsky
The Hornets return home for a 1 p.m. tip on Feb. 25 against Detroit on Kids Day. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.