Hornets Respond with Home Win Over Knicks
Rozier, Graham Both Score 20+ PTS; Clutch Plays Seal Charlotte’s Victory Down the Stretch
Following a pair of blowout losses over their last two outings, the Charlotte Hornets regrouped in impressive fashion and pulled off a much-needed 107-101 home win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday, Feb. 26 at Spectrum Center.
Terry Rozier paved the way for the hosts with a game-high 26 points on 7-of-15 shooting and four assists in the victory, which was just the team’s second in its last 12 appearances in Charlotte. After a day off, Devonte’ Graham snapped out of his post-All-Star Break slump with another 21 points and a team-high five assists.
Tied 45-45 with 4:48 left in the second quarter, the Hornets uncorked a 11-1 run to enter halftime with a 10-point advantage, which they sustained heading to the fourth as well. New York got the deficit down to two with 2:58 remaining before Charlotte responded with a back-and-forth 10-6 stretch highlighted by an acrobatic Rozier layup with 28 seconds left that essentially ran the clock out.
“I’m most proud of the response after last night’s [39-point loss in Indiana],” said Coach Borrego afterwards. “On a back-to-back, we got beat pretty good [yesterday]. I thought we responded the right way. A very mature, resilient response. Proud of our effort, proud of our resiliency, just how we’ve stuck together through the ups and downs of the season and the ups and downs of this game.”
“That’s part of the NBA. You have to move on,” added Rozier. “You have to have short-term memory. Obviously, if you get beat how we did last night and get manhandled, it’s in the back of your mind. That’s something that we talked about today. Just tried to go out there, send a message, be the harder-playing team. We should expect that from us the rest of the year.”
BIsmack Biyombo racked up 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and a season-high four blocks as the starting center, with PJ Washington (12) and Miles Bridges (10) also scoring in double figures. Cody Martin narrowly missed his first career double-double, putting up nine points and nine rebounds in 25 reserve minutes.
Julius Randle led New York with 18 points and nine rebounds, while Mitchell Robinson added 12 points, a season-high 16 rebounds and three blocks off the bench for his fifth double-double of the campaign. Bobby Portis (17), Allonzo Trier (15 points), and Taj Gibson (10) rounded out the Knicks’ five double-figure scorers.
Charlotte shot 47.0% from the field and New York was at 50.6%, although went just 4-of-15 from distance (26.7%). The Knicks won the board, 42-37, and edged the hosts in both paint scoring (58-56) and fast-break points (9-6).
The Hornets now return to the road to face the Toronto Raptors on Friday, Feb. 28 starting at 7:30 PM at Scotiabank Arena. Watch the game on Fox Sports Southeast or listen in on WFNZ 610 AM/102.5 FM or the Hornets app.