Charlotte Can’t Close Out Pelicans in Big Easy

4 Hornets Score 20+ but New Orleans Gets Home Win

By Matt Rochinski,

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The Hornets had four players - Dwight Howard (22), Kemba Walker (22), Frank Kaminsky (21) and Nic Batum (20) - finish with 20+ points as they opened a five-game East Coast trip on Tuesday in New Orleans but could not hang on in the fourth quarter on the way to a 119-115 loss to the Pelicans.

Turning Point

After battling back from double-digit deficits a handful of times over the first three quarters, the Hornets found a way to take a 108-107 lead on Dwight Howard’s hook shot with 3:28 remaining in the contest. However, after having exerted most of their defensive effort on attempting to slow down Anthony Davis, the Hornets saw Jrue Holiday catch fire in the game’s waning moments. In the 2:58 stretch following Howard’s hook, Holiday would go on to score the next 10 Pelicans points on his own personal 10-2 run around two Nic Batum free throws that gave New Orleans a 117-110 lead with 30.0 seconds remaining and put the game out of reach for the Hornets.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Dwight Howard gear here)

Dwight Howard tied Kemba Walker with a team-high 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 shooting from the charity stripe. Howard also added a team-high 11 rebounds to go with three blocks and two assists. It marked his 41st double-double of the season. He is the first Charlotte player to have 40+ double-doubles in a season since Al Jefferson in 2013-14.

Pelicans Player of the Game

Anthony Davis continued to show why he’s beginning to get attention for a potential MVP season, scoring a game-high 31 points on 13-of-26 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 shooting from the free-throw line. He also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds while blocking five shots, handing out three assists and swiping two steals.

Game Notes

Kemba Walker had 22 points on 9-of-20 shooting, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. This is his 51st game in which he has made multiple three-pointers in 66 appearances this season, ranking him fourth in the NBA. Walker also recorded his 43rd game with 20+ points, good for 6th in the Eastern Conference…Nic Batum finished with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting, to go along with eight assists, five rebounds, four steals and three blocks. With his four steals, Batum has recorded a steal in 15-straight games, extending his career high… Frank Kaminsky (21 points) and Jeremy Lamb (16 points) both had strong performances off the bench as Charlotte outscored New Orleans reserves, 42-23… The Pelicans outscored the Hornets 78-64 in the paint, 17-13 in second-chance points and 28-15 in fast break points… Michael Carter-Williams (left shoulder sprain) and Cody Zeller (left knee soreness) were both out.

Quote of the Night

“In the second half we held them to 47 (points) and played the kind of defense that would allow us to play well every night. They’re terrific offensively and are on a roll. We put a lot more into it - we were much more disciplined, much better with our coverages and much better with our one-on-one. You have to make open shots in the fourth quarter and we got some late, but it you’re going to win on the road, those are ones you have to make.” – Head Coach Steve Clifford

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