Kemba Walker found Jeremy Lamb open on the left wing with time ticking away and the Hornets trailing by one. Lamb quickly loaded up, fired, and drilled the 3-pointer to put the Hornets up two and rip the Raptors hearts out for the second consecutive time.
Fresh off a road trip and with the season on the line, the Hornets did exactly what any respectable basketball team would do to start a game- they fell behind 19-5 just over four minutes into the game. The Hornets fought back though, with Miles Bridges, Kemba Walker, Frank Kaminsky, and Jeremy Lamb all contributing to the run. The Hornets even took the lead after Michael Kidd-Gilchrist hit a 3-pointer from the wing. After one, the Hornets only trailed by one.
The second quarter was played to a stalemate until the Raptors called the ‘don’t miss shots’ play. They scored 11 straight points as part of a stretch where they made eight straight field goal attempts. The Hornets didn’t get buried though. They clung to an eight point deficit at the half.
The Hornets started the second half the exact opposite way they started the first. Frank Kaminsky started the second half in place of Bismack Biyombo and immediately paid dividends. He hit a 3-pointer on the Hornets first possession and a layup while being fouled on their second to jump start what would become a 14-4 run to start the half. The Hornets played with an energy that’s been lacking at times this season and hounded the Raptors on defense. They won the quarter 33-21 and took a four point lead into the final quarter.
The first half of the fourth quarter was the Hornets vs. Serge Ibaka. After a pair of Anunoby free throws, Ibaka scored the Raptors’ next 12 points. The Hornets, meanwhile, got contributions from the entire lineup. A personal 5-0 run from Frank Kaminsky put the Hornets up 106-100 with 4:52 to play, forcing a Raptors timeout. Kawhi Leonard hit a pair of tough pull-ups to answer a Dwayne Bacon layup. The Hornets offense dried up and they missed six straight shots. A Pascal Siakam 3-pointer put the Raptors up one with 38.2 seconds to play. Walker did what superstars do and essentially took the entire Raptors team to the rim and converted a layup to put the Hornets back on top. That was immediately matched by a Leonard layup with 15 seconds left.
And then it was time for the Raptors killer himself.
Walker drove the lane, drew help, and found Jeremy Lamb for a 3-pointer with three seconds to play. Leonard’s attempt to tie the game wedged between the backboard and the rim, and Miles Bridges tipped away the ensuing jump ball to seal the win.
Kemba Walker led all scorers with 29 points and dished 8 assists to go along with them. Frank Kaminsky set a season high in scoring for the second consecutive night, this time 22 to go along with a season high 13 rebounds. Lamb’s late game heroics capped off a 22-point performance. Malik Monk and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 apiece. MKG even hit a pair of 3-pointers.
With this win, the Hornets take the season series over the Raptors, because of course. It also keeps the Hornets postseason hopes alive.
Up next is a visit to Detroit to take on the Pistons on Sunday afternoon.