Kemba Scores 40, Hornets Fall in OT
Captain Impresses on Day He’s Named an All-Star but Charlotte Can’t Hold on in Extra Session
By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com
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Kemba Walker poured in 40 points on the night he was named to his second-straight All-Star game, but the Hornets could not pull out a win in overtime on Thursday in Portland, falling to the Trail Blazers, 109-103.
Charlotte continues to show it is never out of a game with Kemba Walker leading the way. With 7:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, this one seemed all but over as the Trail Blazers built a 92-75 lead. But led by 17 points from Walker, the Hornets closed regulation on a 22-5 run to force overtime. Charlotte ran out of gas in the extra session though, getting outscored 12-6 and going just 2-of-12 from the field in OT.
Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Kemba Walker gear here)
Kemba Walker lit up the scoreboard with a game-high 40 points on 13-of-26 shooting from the field, including 6-of-11 from beyond the arc, and 8-of-8 from the charity stripe. Walker scored all 12 of Charlotte’s points in a 12-7 run to close the first half and tallied 17 points in the Hornets 22-5 outburst to close regulation. Walker also swiped a game-high-tying four steals (Nic Batum), handed out three assists and brought down one rebound.
Portland Player of the Game
Jusuf Nurkic was a force inside for Portland, scoring team-high 24 points on an efficient 10-of-14 shooting from the field, cleaning the glass with 14 rebounds, including three offensive, and blocking a game-high four shots in the win.
Frank Kaminsky scored 17 points to lead both teams’ reserves. He finished 6-of-14 from the field and hit a season-high-tying four triples. Kaminsky also grabbed six rebounds, had two steals and an assist in 30 minutes off the bench… Marvin Williams returned to the Hornets starting lineup after missing four games with a sprained ankle. He impressed with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting while dropping two treys. Williams also had four rebounds and blocked a team-best two shots… Nic Batum rounded out Charlotte’s double-digit scorers with 11 points while also contributing with a team-high five assists and a game-high-tying four steals (Kemba Walker)… With the win, the Trail Blazers have now won eight-straight at the Moda Center… Portland moved to 2-1 in overtime this season while the Hornets fell to 1-2… Charlotte was outscored 58-32 in the paint, 21-6 in points off turnovers, 19-5 in second-chance points and 10-6 on the fastbreak.
Quote of the Night
“[We had a] great fourth quarter. Much better offensive energy in the second half. Dwight’s pick-and-roll defense was unbelievable on both [Lillard and McCollum], which set the tone for our defense. We played a really good fourth quarter and we just struggled in overtime to make [shots].” – Coach Clifford