Hornets Stop Skid with Home Win over Knicks

Kaminsky Leads Impressive Bench Unit with 24 Points

By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com


Frank Kaminsky came off the bench and tied a season high with a game-high 24 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Dwight Howard (11 points, 10 rebounds) recorded double-doubles as the Hornets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 109-91 victory over New York on Dec. 18 in Charlotte.

Turning Point

For the past handful of games, the Hornets have been looking for a spark from their bench. On Monday at Spectrum Center, the bench turned that spark into a five-alarm fire early in the contest. With Charlotte holding a 22-21 lead with two minutes remaining in the first quarter, Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas turned to a reserve unit of Michael Carter-Williams, Jeremy Lamb, Johnny O’Bryant and Frank Kaminsky to play alongside starter Nic Batum and they took control of the contest, outscoring New York, 31-11 over the next 9:39 of action. Kaminsky led the way with 10 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field, including 2-of-2 from long range in the run as Charlotte outshot the Knicks 61.1 percent (11-of-18) to 20.0 percent (4-of-20) from the field and 100.0 percent (4-of-4) to 0 percent (0-of-7) from long range during the decisive stretch. But it wasn’t just Kaminsky getting things done. Batum, Carter-Williams and O’Bryant all scored five points apiece in the run. The Hornets also buckled down defensively, outrebounding the Knicks, 12-8, and swiping three steals to New York’s zero while blocking one shot and forcing four Knicks turnovers leading to five Hornets points. It was the type of play Charlotte will need from the bench going forward as it looks to turn things around.

Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Frank Kaminsky gear here)

Frank Kaminsky fueled the Hornets with a season-high-tying 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from long range. Kaminsky shot a perfect 8-of-8 from the field and 4-of-4 from beyond the arc through the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. His four treys also tied a season high set on Nov. 20 against Minnesota.

Knicks Player of the Game

Michael Beasley scored a team-high 23 points to go with nine rebounds, two blocked shots and one assist in 32 minutes of action.

Game Notes

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led all Hornets starters with 15 points while also tying Dwight Howard with a game-high 10 rebounds, including four offensive boards. MKG also dished out two assists, blocked one shot and swiped one steal in 34 minutes. It was his second double-double of the season. MKG now has 547 career offensive rebounds, passing Elden Campbell and moving into eighth place on the franchise’s all-time offensive rebound leaderboard… Dwight Howard tallied his 17th double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds, tying him for seventh in the NBA. It marked Howard’s 683rd career double-double, a category he is the NBA’s active leader in. Howard also dished out three assists in the winning effort… Charlotte’s bench outscored the Knicks reserves, 53-38… Charlotte outrebounded New York, 47-37… The Hornets dished out 30 assists compared to the Knicks 21… The Hornets have now won seven-straight games against the Knicks in Charlotte. Their last loss to New York on their home court came on November 8, 2013.

Quote of the Night

“I think you saw it in Nic (Batum) last game, kind of the same thing where his vibe changed a little bit. He was a little bit more aggressive and was able to be a lot more productive. It was the same thing with Frank tonight, [he] just played, didn’t worry about making mistakes, didn’t worry about his shot fake and his shot and all that other stuff. He was just playing the game the way he knows he can. Hopefully we’ll see that as we go forward with guys like Nic, guys like Frank and then the other guys, especially our bench guys, getting a little bit more consistency and confidence.” - Associate Head Coach Stephen Silas on Frank Kaminsky

Next Up

The Hornets close their four-game homestand with a 7 p.m. tip on Wednesday against Toronto at Spectrum Center. The game can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.