Hornets Push Spurs to the Limit on ESPN

Walker Nearly Notches Triple-Double on National TV
by Quinton Wash

By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com

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Result

The Hornets entered Wednesday’s game at Spectrum Center looking to make a lasting impression on a national television audience, playing on ESPN for the first time in the regular season since April 15, 2015 in Toronto. It was a tall task as Charlotte looked to stop its two-game skid while also bringing an end to San Antonio’s seven-game, road-winning streak. Although they came away with a 119-114 loss to the Spurs, the Hornets didn’t disappoint in a game with 32 lead changes, showcasing the heart, determination and skill that have earned them eight wins already this season. Charlotte was led by a showstopping performance from Kemba Walker with 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists but could not close out the 12-3 Spurs and fell to 8-6 on the season.

Turning Point

When Danny Green hit his second three-pointer in a 59-second span with 1:23 remaining to put the Spurs up, 111-104, it appeared as if San Antonio was on its way to icing the game. However, no game is over when you’ve got Kemba Walker. On Charlotte’s ensuing possession, Walker drove around a screen from Frank Kaminsky and was fouled by Tony Parker as he knocked down a three-pointer from the right side with 1:15 left in the fourth. Walker calmly stepped to the line and knocked down the free throw to convert the four-point play and cut the San Antonio lead to 111-108. Next it was Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s turn on the defensive end, as he forced a tough shot from Kawhi Leonard from the left corner and Nicolas Batum was there to snare the rebound and get the ball ahead to Walker who finished on the break to cut the lead to 111-110. Following 1-of-2 free throws from LaMarcus Aldridge, the Hornets had a chance to tie but Parker was able to deflect the inbounds pass near midcourt off Walker, giving the ball back to the Spurs. Parker came up big for San Antonio on the offensive end, knocking down the corner three with 25.2 seconds left to put the visitors up 115-110 on the way to the win.

Hornets Player of the Game

Kemba Walker continues to play at an All-Star level for the Hornets, nearly finishing with a triple-double on the back of a 15-point, fourth-quarter performance. Walker led Charlotte in points (26), rebounds (nine) and assists (seven) while recording his 12th 20+point outing of the season. With four made free throws, Walker also tied Alonzo Mourning for the third-most free throws made (1,418) in team history.

Spurs Player of the Game

Kawhi Leonard posted his fifth 30+point outing of the season, scoring a game-high 30 points while connecting on a career-high 14 field goals made. He added five rebounds, four assists, one steal and one block in the victory.

Game Notes

Charlotte finished with eight players - Kemba Walker (26), Nicolas Batum (13), Frank Kaminsky (13), Marco Belinelli (12), Spencer Hawes (11), Marvin Williams (10), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (10) and Roy Hibbert (10) - scoring in double figures… The Hornets bench outscored San Antonio’s reserves, 45-30, led by Kaminsky… Charlotte tied a season high with 30 assists with four players - Walker (seven), Batum (five), Kaminsky (five) and Ramon Sessions (four) - recording at least four dimes… The Hornets outscored the Spurs in second-chance points, 26-15, tying a season high in that category… The 32 lead changes marked a season-high for Charlotte as well… San Antonio forced a Hornets season-high 16 turnovers, which it converted into 25 points… Cody Zeller (shoulder) missed his third-straight game… Jeremy Lamb returned from an Achilles injury they kept him sidelined since Oct. 29.

Quote of the Night

“Our intensity was better, back to what it will have to be if we’re going to be a good team. [Our] purpose of play was better. Hey, look, they’re really good and they played well. Their better players made a lot of good plays. We had our chances… and I’ll say it nicely, we didn’t get any breaks there in the last three and half, four minutes. It was a well played game. Again, you have to have the right attitude about it, handling disappointment is part of the NBA. We’ve got a very difficult few days ahead of us. We are going to have to be able to learn from this, go to New York and play better on Friday.” - Head Coach Steve Clifford

Quote of the Night


“Our intensity was better, back to what it will have to be if we’re going to be a good team. [Our] purpose of play was better. Hey, look, they’re really good and they played well. Their better players made a lot of good plays. We had our chances… and I’ll say it nicely, we didn’t get any breaks there in the last three and half, four minutes. It was a well played game. Again, you have to have the right attitude about it, handling disappointment is part of the NBA. We’ve got a very difficult few days ahead of us. We are going to have to be able to learn from this, go to New York and play better on Friday.” - Head Coach Steve Clifford

Next Up

The Hornets hit the road for a 7:30 p.m. slate on Friday, Nov. 25 in New York. Watch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen on the Hornets App or WFNZ.


next up
Friday Nov 25 - 7:30 pmMadison Square Garden, New York, NY
Fox Sports Southeast - Charlotte Hornets App & WFNZ 610 AM
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