Hornets Rally to Close Homestand on Winning Note
Charlotte Ends Game on 12-0 Run to Defeat Atlanta
By Matt Rochinski, hornets.com
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Kemba Walker scored a game-high 29 points and Dwight Howard added another double-double (18 points, 15 rebounds) as the Hornets used a 12-0 run to close out the game and wrap up their five-game homestand with a 121-110 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday at Spectrum Center.
Trailing 110-109 with 2:59 remaining, the Hornets appeared to be scrambling after having blown a 13-point, second-half lead and needed someone to step up in closing time. Enter the captain, Kemba Walker. First Walker connected on a stepback jumper from the right side to give the Hornets a 111-110 lead. Following a missed Taurean Prince three-point attempt, it was Walker again who came up clutch, draining a trey of his own from the left side to give Charlotte a 114-110 cushion. Dwight Howard made sure the Hawks wouldn’t chip into Charlotte’s lead on Atlanta’s ensuing possession when he swatted away Kent Bazemore’s layup attempt. Walker missed a jumper in transition on the way back but was able to grab the offensive board on his own miss and got the ball to Nic Batum, where he found Michael Kidd-Gilchrist for a lay-up on the left side, pushing Charlotte’s advantage to 116-110. Following a Mike Muscala turnover, it was Marvin Williams who stepped up to hit another three-pointer from the top of the arc before Howard closed the game out with a putback on his own miss to finish the scoring and send the Hornets on the road on a winning note on the back of a 12-0 run.
Hornets Player of the Game (Pick up your Kemba Walker gear here)
Kemba Walker had a game-high 29 points to go with four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Walker has scored 20-or-more points in 27 of 45 games this season. Including going 5-of-10 from three-point range tonight, Walker has scored multiple three-point baskets in 30 of his 45 appearances this season. he is second on the franchise’s all-time three-point field goal leader-board behind Dell Curry (KW: 907 DC: 929).
Hawks Player of the Game
Kent Bazemore did his best to bring the Hawks back in the contest, scoring a team-high 26 point on 9-of-16 shooting from the field, including 4-of-8 from long range. He also dished out four assists, grabbed two rebounds, blocked two shots and swiped one steal.
Dwight Howard tallied his 29th double-double of the season with 18 points and 15 rebounds and a season-high seven blocks (previous: six, done multiple times). This is his second game recording at least six blocks in the last three games and his third this season. He and New York’s Porzingis have three six-block games this season, leading the league… This is Howard’s seventh straight game with 15-or-more rebounds, tying his career-high and tying Detroit’s Drummond for the longest such streak this season… Marvin Williams went 3-of-5 from deep tonight. He entered shooting .444 from beyond-the-arc, good for fourth in the NBA… With 19 points tonight on 8-of-14 shooting, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist recorded his 3,000th career point – he now has 3003. He has recorded 10-or-more points in 10 of his last 12 appearances.… The Hornets connected on 28 free throws on 32 attempts, good for 87.5 percent from the free-throw line. Six Hornets players took free-throws tonight, including a 10-of-14 performance from Dwight Howard. Every other Charlotte player shot 100 percent from the line… With 13 team steals, Charlotte tied its season high in steals (13 vs. ORL, 12/4)… With the win tonight Charlotte has won five-straight games against Atlanta at Spectrum Center.
Quote of the Night
“So a good first half. A bad about seven minutes of not as good defense, and then really a great last seven minutes of the game. So it’s a good way to win and maybe it will give us so momentum going in to tomorrow night.” – Head Coach Steve Clifford