Postgame wrap: Hornets 115, Pelicans 109

Hornets (36-42), Pelicans (32-47)
by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

To have any realistic chance at reaching the Eastern Conference postseason, Charlotte badly needed to win Wednesday in an interconference matchup vs. New Orleans. Thanks to some late-game heroics by All-Star guard Kemba Walker, the Hornets remained in the playoff hunt.

After a tight game for 40-plus minutes, Walker scored several key buckets down the stretch, finally giving Charlotte some separation against potential spoiler New Orleans. The Pelicans were paced by Julius Randle’s 34-point outing, while Stanley Johnson paced the hosts’ bench with 17 points.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

New Orleans guard Ian Clark misfired on a three-pointer with 40-plus seconds remaining and the Pelicans trailing by seven, the last good chance for the Pelicans to make matters exciting in the final minute. Frank Kaminsky sank two free throws with 36 ticks left, giving Charlotte a 110-101 edge. Randle sank a couple three-pointers to get the Pelicans closer, but they never pulled within five points from there.

PELICANS PLAYER OF THE GAME

Randle continued to add to his excellent second half of the regular season, forcing the Pelicans into a lead during several segments of Wednesday’s contest. The left-hander overpowered Charlotte’s bigs en route to getting to the basket or capitalizing on post-ups near the paint. He was extremely efficient across the board, going 12/19 from the field, 3/5 on three-pointers and 7/8 at the foul line. For good measure, he grabbed 11 rebounds, handed out three assists and had two steals.

FOCUS ON: THE FINAL ROAD TRIP OF 2018-19

There aren’t many tangible things at stake this weekend when New Orleans heads to Phoenix and Sacramento for a two-game road trip, particularly with the Suns and Kings joining the Pelicans in being eliminated from West playoff contention. However, Sacramento still has a chance at a .500 record for the first time in 13 years, while – for whatever it’s worth – New Orleans needs one more win to avoid losing 50-plus games for only the third time in the last 14 seasons.

Pride also may be the overriding theme from a team perspective in NOLA’s home finale Tuesday, with Golden State potentially wrapping up the No. 1 seed in the West over second-place Denver by then.

BY THE NUMBERS

15/41: New Orleans three-point shooting, only the fifth time this season the Pelicans launched 40-plus times from beyond the arc.

42.2: Charlotte shooting percentage from the field, but the Hornets were still able to overcome a poor night accuracy-wise.

Pelicans-Hornets Postgame: Stanley Johnson 4-3-19

Pelicans guard Stanley Johnson recaps tonight's home game vs the Charlotte Hornets

Game 79: Pelicans vs. Hornets 4/3/19

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Pelicans-Hornets Postgame: Stanley Johnson 4-3-19

Pelicans guard Stanley Johnson recaps tonight's home game vs the Charlotte Hornets
Apr 3, 2019  |  03:52

Pelicans-Hornets Postgame: Alvin Gentry 4-3-19

Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry recaps tonight's home game vs the Charlotte Hornets
Apr 3, 2019  |  02:55

Pelicans honor equipment manager David 'Big Shot' Jovanovic

In honor of his 30 years of NBA service to both the Hornets and Pelicans organizations, the teams paid tribute to equipment manager David 'Big Shot' Jovanovic.
Apr 3, 2019  |  02:30

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Julius Randle led the team with 34 points vs. Charlotte Hornets

Pelicans Julius Randle racked up 34 points and 11 rebounds in the team's loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Apr 3, 2019  |  01:51

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Ian Clark adds 17 points vs. Charlotte Hornets

Pelicans Ian Clark knocked down 17 points in the team's home loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Apr 3, 2019  |  01:47

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Stanley Johnson scores 17 points vs. Charlotte Hornets

Pelicans Stanley Johnson broke out for 17 points off the bench in the team's home loss to the Charlotte Hornets.
Apr 3, 2019  |  01:27

Stanley Johnson cuts through the defense | Pelicans vs. Hornets Highlights

Pelicans Stanley Johnson splits the defenders for the lay-up.
Apr 3, 2019  |  00:20

Dairis Bertans drains the three | Pelicans vs. Hornets Highlights

Pelicans Dairis Bertans curls beyond the arc and knocks down the triple.
Apr 3, 2019  |  00:20

Elfrid Payton steal and slam | Pelicans vs. Hornets Highlights

Pelicans Elfrid Payton picks off a pass from Kemba Walker and finishes with the 3-on-1 dunk.
Apr 3, 2019  |  00:19

Julius Randle bulldozes down the lane | Pelicans vs. Hornets Highlights

Pelicans Julius Randle picks up some steam and finishes at the rim.
Apr 3, 2019  |  00:14

Stanley Johnson strong drive | Pelicans vs. Hornets Highlights

Pelicans Stanley Johnson bounces off defenders on his way to the rim.
Apr 3, 2019  |  00:20

Big Man Block by Jahlil Okafor | Pelicans vs. Hornets Highlights

Pelicans Jahlil Okafor defends the paint and comes up with the block against Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. .
Apr 3, 2019  |  00:13

Jahlil Okafor attacks the rim | Pelicans vs. Hornets Highlights

Pelicans Jahlil Okafor drives down the baseline and finishes with the big slam.
Apr 3, 2019  |  00:15
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