The Charlotte Hornets came in down a key rotation player in Jeremy Lamb, and two starters in Nicolas Batum and Cody Zeller. Charlotte went small with five shooters and Spencer Hawes at center. They looked to attack in transition and use the speed advantage over Knicks' bigs Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis. Through six minutes the Hornets had made two shots from the field, and frankly it looked as if nothing was going to fall. The Knicks plan of attack was shoot out of the post, and work within the Triangle offense post options. The Hornets hung tough with the Knicks and didn't let New York's size get in the way. Robin Lopez feasted in the first against Spencer Hawes with seven points and five rebounds in nine minutes. The Hornets entered the second down only two despite shooting 30% from the field.
The Hornets brought out Brian Roberts, Jeremy Lin, Troy Daniels, Tyler Hansbrough, and Frank Kaminsky. Certainly not an ideal lineup, but it wasn't as bad as it sounded. PJ Hairston came in for Daniels and along with Roberts hit some impressive shots to keep Charlotte in the fight. Knicks let Charlotte stay in the fight with some less than impressive free throw shooting. Kemba Walker looked gassed after a busy week of impressive 52, 40, and 21 point performances. Other Hornets recognized this and stepped up their scoring for the captain. Lin in particular put up fourteen points while Hawes and Walker air balled shots all around. The second quarter was fiesty all around with Derek Fisher getting a technical foul, and Carmelo wapping Lin in the face. The poor shooting continued for both teams combining for 38% from the three point line. Certainly not a high scoring half with the score just at 45-43 with the Hornets up two.
Knicks scored only twice in the first four minutes. Here's another great "both teams are really tired stat": Through the first few minutes of the third the Hornets and Knicks shot a combined for six of thirty from the three point line. The third continued a long with Lin and Hairston carrying the scoring load. PJ took advantage of Carmelo Anthony's lackadaisical play on the defensive end. As if Charlotte needed another injury, Marvin Williams seemed to hit his wrist in the second and it seemed to bother him all game. The Knicks continued to struggle with hitting shots and turnovers. Charlotte might have been down key players, but they played incredibly hard and it showed. Charlotte played into a 20 point lead, and frankly it felt weird they had such a lead.
The Knicks fought back a bit with Derrick Williams leading the reserves. Williams and Vujacic got the Knicks almost back into the game, but the Hornets kept New York at bay. With Jeremy Lin and PJ Hairston putting up season highs and sending the Knicks to a loss with a final score of 97-84.