Things didn’t start well for the Hornets Friday night against the Grizzlies. They weren’t shooting the ball well and were lethargic defensively, but a 4th quarter surge led to a 100-92 victory for the home team.
Kemba Walker finished with a game high 23 points on 7-17 shooting. Malik Monk added 20 points, Marvin Williams 16 points and Tony Parker scored 15. Monk (14) and Williams (13) combined for 27 of the Hornets 30 4th quarter points.
After trailing the Grizzlies 29-17 at the end of the first quarter, the Hornets outscored Memphis 28-16 in the 2nd to tie the game at 45 at the half. A fairly even 3rd quarter led to a 73-70 Memphis lead to open the 4th. After Joakim Noah drained 2 free throws with 6:07 remaining the Hornets found themselves headed in the wrong direction, down 89-83. Then something clicked. The Hornets, led on the defensive end by Bismack Biyombo, who had two huge blocks during stretch, and Malik Monk and Marvin Williams, who scored 14 of Charlotte’s final 17 points, would pull away from the Grizzlies for good.
“Obviously I want to give God the glory for being able to make those shots, but they’re shots I shoot every single day,” said Williams. “Obviously early in the game they weren’t really falling for me, but as a shooter you can’t really worry about the misses you just have to shoot your shot when you get it. My teammates count on me to do that, so does the coaching staff and thankfully went in when we needed them.”
“Marvin was great. Malik was great,” Borrego said after the game. “The second half especially, just getting downhill and getting to the rim…. He looks really confident shooting the ball right now. So give those two guys a lot of credit...Give [Biyombo] a lot credit as well. He was tremendous defensively. I think he scored one point but he really impacted that game on the defensive end. Just his energy, his spirit. Even when he was out of the game he was pushing the huddles and the timeouts. He deserves a lot of credit for this win tonight.”
Tony Parker scored 15 points and added 7 assists off the bench.
The Hornets will face Chicago tomorrow night, for game two of this 3-game home stretch.