Kemba Walker scored 32 of his 38 points in the second half and overtime and chipped 11 assists and 9 rebounds, Dwayne Bacon scored a career high 24 points, and the Charlotte Hornets took down the San Antonio Spurs in overtime, 125-116.
Most of the good stuff came at the end, so that’s what we’re going to focus on, but we do need to shout out Miles Bridges for his 10 first quarter points. The rookie is really coming on down the stretch.
The Hornets started the second half trailing by four. That deficit grew to ten before the Hornets scored 12 straight points to retake the lead. Walker and Bacon scored all 12 points during the run. The teams traded baskets and went into the fourth quarter still separated by a single bucket.
Another run a few minutes into the fourth quarter put the Hornets up by eight. Frank Kaminsky and Devonte’ Graham contributed to that run along with Walker. It’d be nice if the Hornets could have built off that and put the game away, but this is the Hornets, and this is the fourth quarter. Nothing is easy. The Spurs went on a quick 11-2 run to take the lead with 3:28 remaining and force a James Borrego timeout.
Walker and LaMarcus Aldridge took turns hitting big shots before DeMar DeRozan took his turn and hit a tough jumper to put the Spurs up two with 52 seconds to go. But Walker was not going to let the Hornets lose this game. He hit a layup to tie the game once more. DeRozan missed his next opportunity. Walker took the ensuing outlet pass and raced up the floor. He was knocked to the floor on his layup attempt, but the referees swallowed their whistle. The Spurs let the game play out, and it resulted in DeRozan settling for a heavily contested pull-up jumper over Bridges. He missed it badly.
The overtime period was the Kemba Walker show. He scored the Hornets first seven points in the extra frame as the team jumped out to a four point advantage. With Walker visibly gassed and taking himself out of the offensive play, Bacon isolated on Aldridge. He dribbled into a 3-pointer and drained it to put the Hornets up seven with under two minutes to play. Walker cemented the win with a dagger 3-pointer on the next offensive possession.
This is the Hornets fourth win in a row, their longest winning streak of the season. It couldn’t come at a better time, as the Heat’s loss to the Magic tonight means the Hornets are now just one game out of the playoffs with eight games to play.
They’ll go for their fifth straight win in Los Angeles against the Lakers on Friday.