Charlotte Rallies to Stun Sacramento

By Sam Perley, hornets.com

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In by far one of the wildest and most unpredictable games of the NBA season so far, the Hornets erased a 22-point deficit late in the third quarter to pull off an improbable 127-122 overtime win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday, Nov. 23 in Charlotte, for their sixth-straight home win. With the victory, the Hornets recorded the largest second-half comeback in the NBA this season and tied their second-largest comeback win in franchise history, trailing only a 24-point comeback against the Milwaukee Bucks on Opening Night of the 2014-15 NBA season. Kemba Walker was absolute dominant, finishing with a season-high 39 points while DeMarcus Cousins led all Sacramento players with 30 points in the defeat.  

Turning Points
Trailing 91-69 with 2:24 remaining in the third quarter, the Hornets began mounting the massive comeback as they unrolled a 12-0 run that stretched into the first few minutes of the fourth, cutting Sacramento’s advantage to 10. Sacramento’s lead fluttered around double digits until there was about four minutes remaining in the frame, when the Hornets reeled off a 13-2 run that was capped off by a Kemba Walker layup with just 0.7 seconds remaining on the clock. However, Rajon Rondo hit Rudy Gay for an alley-oop lay-up on the ensuing Kings inbounds, sending the game to overtime tied at 112-112.

The Hornets then opened overtime on a 8-2 run to take a 120-114 lead with just over two minutes remaining and would then go on to exchange baskets with the Kings until the closing seconds. Holding a 125-122 lead with just under 10 seconds remaining, the Hornets got the ball up court to Jeremy Lin, who missed a layup underneath the basket. Fortunately for Charlotte, leading-scorer, Kemba Walker, was there for the offensive rebound and notched a quick put-back layup to stretch Charlotte’s lead to five, officially sealing the monstrous comeback win against the Kings.  

Inside the Box Score
Kemba Walker led all scorers with a season-high 39 points on a career-high 16-of-23 shooting from the field… Nicolas Batum finished just shy of a triple-double, tallying 18 points and team highs in both rebounds (10) and assists (eight)… Jeremy Lin chipped in 14 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals off the bench… Cody Zeller tallied 12 points  and six rebounds… Jeremy Lamb recored his 10th double-digit scoring performance in 13 games this season, finishing with 11 points, five rebounds and two assists… Al Jefferson also scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points, three rebounds and three assists… Frank Kaminsky recorded nine points and five rebounds… DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings in both points (30) and rebounds (11) for his eighth double-double of the season… Rudy Gay tallied his second double-double of the season, finishing with a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds… Rajon Rondo recorded 14 points, eight rebounds, a season-high 20 assists and a team-high four steals… Marco Belinelli (17), Ben McLemore (10) and Kosta Koufos (10) also scored in double figures for the Kings… Both teams shot exactly 50.0 percent from the field (Charlotte: 49-of-98; Sacramento: 52-of-104)… the Hornets edged out the Kings on the boards, 48-46… Charlotte scored 26 points on 20 Sacramento turnovers while the Kings managed just 13 points on 19 giveaways by the Hornets…   

Hornets Player of the Game
Kemba Walker put together his best performance of the season, finishing with a season-high 39 points on a career-best 16-of-23 shooting from the field, six rebounds, five assists, two steals and three blocks in the Hornets win. Walker’s 39-point performance was also the second-highest scoring total of his five-year NBA career.

Kings Player of the Game
Rajon Rondo had a stellar night for Sacramento, tallying 14 points, eight rebounds, a season-high 20 assists and a team-high four steals for the Kings in the loss. Rondo’s assist total was the most by any player in the NBA this season and also set a new Sacramento Kings franchise record for assists in a single game. 

Game Notes
P.J. Hairston returned to the Hornets starting lineup after a three-game absence (quad)… DeMarcus Cousins went to the locker room in the third quarter (lower back) but did return, although later would sit out overtime… Kemba Walker finished the game with 393 career three-point field goals, moving him past David Wesley for the third-most in Charlotte franchise history (390)… the Hornets snapped a two-game losing streak to the Kings… Charlotte is now 6-0 this season when scoring 30-or-more points in the first quarter.

Next Up
The Hornets will take on the Washington Wizards at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25 in Charlotte. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.

Cody Zeller Postgame Twinterview
Following the win against the Sacramento Kings, the Hornets Cody Zeller sat down to answer your Twitter questions for a post game “Twinterview"