Walker finished with 38 points, making 12-for-20 from the field and 9-for-13 from 3.
Charlotte took the early lead and never trailed. While they led by 10 or more for long stretches of the first half, Atlanta went on a mini-run on more than on occasion to cut their lead in half. Despite these runs, they never looked all that threatening, and Charlotte was able to reclaim a double-digit lead.
It largely played out the same way in the second half. Atlanta did cut the score to one midway through the third, but the Hornets got hot from 3 and re-claimed a double-digit lead.
Atlanta made a half-hearted attempt to comeback in the fourth, but they gave in midway through the quarter and Charlotte build a 20+ point lead.
With Marvin Williams out with an ankle injury, Frank Kaminsky started. He finished with 11 points on 4-for-10 shooting.
Williams’s absence also meant a shorter rotation. Treveon Graham shifted to power forward, and one starter remained with the bench unit at all times. Graham was solid, and led the bench in scoring with 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting. He also made two 3-pointers.
Nicolas Batum finished with the quietest of triple-doubles, totaling 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. He made a couple of crucial passes in the third to find Walker and Graham for consecutive 3’s when the Hawks were threatening.
Dwight Howard finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, but he will be remembered for this dunk on Mike Muscala:
Oh my good GOD. Dwight Howard just retired Mike Muscala pic.twitter.com/2JiCfV7QPv— Grim Wobber (@World_Wide_Wob) February 1, 2018
(Jeremy Lamb’s reaction is priceless.)
Atlanta was led by Marco Belinelli, who made his best effort of a revenge game. He finished with 22 points on 4-for-7 shooting from 3, and led the charge when Atlanta attempted to come back.
The star tonight was undoubtedly Walker, however, who played arguably his best game of the season. Hopefully Adam Silver gets word -- he does have an All-Star spot to fill after all.
Charlotte moves to 21-29 on the season. They play the Indiana Pacers this Friday at home.