Despite losing a second half lead, Kemba Walker led the Hornets to a 137-128 win over the New York Knicks in overtime. The two time All-Star tied the game with a 3 late in the game to send it to overtime and the Hornets didn’t look back. Dwight Howard had 23 points and 13 rebounds to go along with Walker’s 31 points. The Hornets had to overcome a 42 point, 10 assist night from Trey Burke (yes, Trey Burke) and 27 points from Michael Beasley.
The Charlotte Hornets played a fairly back and forth first quarter with the Knicks. Walker began the game 51 points away from passing Dell Curry for most points scored in Hornets history. He had nine points in the first quarter and got high quality looks to begin the game. In the end, the Hornets shot 45.5 percent from the field and held the Knicks to 33.3 percent shooting. Charlotte led by five after the first period.
In the second quarter, the good vibes continued, with the Hornets bench contributing very well. Frank Kaminsky had 10 points in the first half off the bench and play with some pep in his step. In addition to that, Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon also got to play a lot with the second unit. Kemba Walker tied two franchise records after making his 43rd straight free throw and his 1998th overall free throw. The Hornets stretched their lead to 13 at the break.
The professional scorer that is Michael Beasley led a Knicks charge to begin the third quarter. He had three dunks and a fade away mid-range jumper to cut the Hornets lead to 10 in the middle of the third quarter. The lead got into single digits as Beasley continued to do what he does best: get buckets. Dwight Howard picked up his 17th technical foul of the season in the third period. This results in a $5,000 fine and his next technical foul will result in another suspension.
Nicolas Batum made a three to stem the tide for the Hornets late in the third quarter. After Beasley went to the bench, Trey Burke heated up as he and Beasley scored 28 points combined in the third quarter. The Hornets lead was cut to five after three quarters after building a very large lead at the beginning of the game.
The fourth quarter began with the Knicks getting closer. Frank Ntilikina fouled early in the fourth quarter, but Trey Burke came back in and continued to play well. The Knicks fought all the way to take the lead after the Hornets had a 17 point lead. However, the Hornets were still fighting even though the Knicks had gone on a big run.
The Knicks got a huge boost when Tim Hardaway Jr. hit the go-ahead 3 with less than 40 seconds left. However, Walker tied the game with a 3 of his own after struggling all night from behind the arc. After 48 minutes, nothing was decided. Burke couldn’t get a good shot off, and overtime was needed to determine a winner.
Kemba made the first two baskets in overtime. After being 0-8 from three, he made back-to-back triples to stretch the Hornets lead. However, Burke and Beasley kept the Knicks in the game once again. However, Walker decided to call game. After Jeremy Lamb and Howard hit huge buckets, Kemba’s dagger 3-pointer gave the Hornets a nine point lead with 1:07 remaining in overtime and Charlotte never looked back.
This win gives the Hornets their fourth straight victory. Their next game is against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night back in the Spectrum Center. In the end, this game was absolutely bonkers. The Hornets getting a win in the clutch was very nice in what has been a tough season. Now, Walker sits 20 points away from Hornets history and we will see if he can become the Hornets all time leading scorer against the Cavs on Wednesday.