Hornets Bounce Back, Beat Kings

Balanced Attack Gets Charlotte Key Home Win

By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com

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Kemba Walker scored a game-high 26 points, Jeremy Lamb added 18 off the bench and Dwight Howard recorded yet another double-double (14 points, 16 rebounds) as the Hornets saw six players score in double digits in a 112-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday at Spectrum Center. The win pushes the Hornets to 2-1 so far in their season-long, five-game homestand with New Orleans coming to town on Wednesday.

Turning Point

The Hornets knew they had to take control of this game against the Kings early on after Saturday’s shocking loss to the Heat in the game’s final moments. It took Charlotte nearly a half to do so, but with the Hornets holding on to a 56-53 lead with 2:47 remaining in the second quarter, things began to click for the home team as they seized control heading into the halftime break. Staring at a one-possession game, the Hornets didn’t blink and used an 11-2 run to close the half on the strength of good ball movement, hot shooting and aggressive defense. First, Nic Batum drained a fadeaway floater on the left baseline and hit the and-one after being fouled by Justin Jackson to make it 59-53. Following a Kosta Koufos bucket, Marvin Williams knocked down his second three-pointer of the game from the top of the arc, and after two missed Kings jumpers, it was Treveon Graham who knocked down another Hornets trey from the right side to push the lead to double digits, 65-55. Another Sacramento miss would soon follow, setting up Williams for a bucket on the left block with 8.3 ticks remaining to extend the lead to 67-55 as both teams headed for the locker room. Charlotte connected on all four of its shots, including two treys, in the final 2:46 of the half while holding the Kings to 1-of-7 (14.3 percent) shooting from the field. While the Kings did battle back to cut Charlotte’s lead to three points late in the fourth, the energy Sacramento had to exert would eventually fizzle out in the final moments as the Hornets locked down defensively, forcing three-straight Kings misses as they pushed the lead to nine points, 111-102, before coming away with the victory.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Jeremy Lamb gear here)

Jeremy Lamb came off the bench to score 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from long range. He added five rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. It also marked Lamb’s 79th game with 10+ points off the bench in his 2+ seasons in Charlotte, passing Matt Carroll for third-most, double-digit scoring games off the bench in franchise history.

Kings Player of the Game

Seal Labissiere did all he could to try to bring the Kings back in the game in the second half, coming off the bench to score a team-high 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field. He also grabbed four rebounds, dished out two assists and blocked a shot in 30 minutes.

Game Notes

Kemba Walker filled the Hornets stat sheet, finishing with a game-high 26 points and a game-high nine dimes. He also nabbed six rebounds, blocked two shots and had a steal in 40 minutes of action… Dwight Howard recorded 14 points, 16 rebounds and a season-high tying six blocks (6, vs. CHI 12/8). This is his 27th double-double of the season and 693rd of his career. He is the active leader in this category. Howard has recorded at least 15 rebounds in the last five games, his longest streak of such games this season. He is also the first Charlotte player with multiple six-block games since Bismack Biyombo had three in 2011-12… Marvin Williams (14), Nic Batum (14) and Frank Kaminsky (10) rounded out Charlotte’s double-digit scorers… Charlotte recorded 112 points on 38-of-86 shooting, including 16-of-40 from three-point range. The 16 shots made from beyond the arc sets a new season-high (previous: 15, done multiple times)… The Hornets led Sacramento in fastbreak points, 12-6, and second-chance points, 19-8… Charlotte took 25 trips to free-throw line compared to 15 by the Kings… The Hornets outrebounded Sacramento, 48-42… Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed the game with a right axillary abscess.

Quote of the Night

“They all say winning a game in the NBA is hard and obviously there are some things we could have done better but that was an important win for us. The bottom line in this league you play to win and we won. We’ll move on. As you can see, we’re a little fatigued here. We’ve gone a few days in a row but it’s a good win.” – Hornets Head Coach Steve Clifford

Next Up

The Hornets five-game homestand continues with a 7 p.m. tip on Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans at Spectrum Center. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.