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Recap: RJ Barrett derails Hornets’ lead with red hot third quarter, leading Knicks to 109-97 win

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The final score does not tell the whole story, but a dominant third quarter from New York sealed Charlotte’s fate

Charlotte Hornets v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Charlotte Hornets fell to a super physical Knicks team, losing 109-97. Buzz City kept it close through the first two quarters, holding a six-point lead at halftime. Unfortunately, a monster third quarter from RJ Barrett derailed their plans.

Barret scored 18 of his 24 points in the third quarter alone. New York managed to win the third by a score of 31-16. Each other quarter was decided by exactly three points, but the 15 point gap in the third was enough to make this one look like a dominant win by the Knicks. The Hornets shot 28.6% from the field and 18.2% from three during that period.

PJ Washington and Terry Rozier stole the show for Charlotte, scoring 26 and 21, respectively. Miles Bridges (15) and Jalen McDaniels (11) were next up in the scoring column. Devonte’ Graham, who returned to action in this one after a two-game absence, could not find a rhythm. He ended the night with nine points and shooting 3-10 from the field. He did not make any of his three two-point attempts.

Barrett led the Knicks in scoring and was joined by four different teammates in double figures - Derrick Rose (17), Immanuel Quickley (17), Julius Randle (16), and Reggie Bullock (16). New York’s bigs also played an important role in this one. Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson combined for 19 rebounds and four blocks between the two of them.

With the loss, the Hornets dip to below .500 on the season at 28-29 and fall one game further behind the Knicks, and half a game further behind Miami. They take on New York once more this season in a game that will decide who wins the season series, as well as the tiebreaker.

The game was a lot closer than the final score makes it seem. Barrett and Washington duked it out from behind the arc, but New York managed to pull out the win behind Barrett’s hot third quarter. The Hornets will have a chance to rebound when they take on the Chicago Bulls on Thursday at 9:00 p.m. (EST) on Bally Sports Southeast.