Kelly Oubre, Terry Rozier, and Gordon Hayward combined for 75 points as the Charlotte Hornets erased a 16 point halftime deficit to snap the New York Knicks’ nine game winning streak, 112-105.
Julius Randle opened the scoring with a quick 3-pointer that was quickly matched by PJ Washington on the other end. The rest of the first quarter didn’t match that tone. It was evenly played, but both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net despite a decent number of good looks. After one, the game was tied at 21.
The Knicks offense erupted in the second quarter. They made 16-of-20 shots, including 10-of-11 from inside the arc. The Knicks got into the paint a little too easily, but to their credit, they made their fair share of difficult looks. It started with RJ Barrett pouring it on, then the rest of the Knicks got in the fun. On the other side, Gordon Hayward led a decent quarter for the Hornets, but they still trailed by 16 at the break.
The Hornets flipped the script in the third quarter. PJ Washington and Terry Rozier started the quarter aggressively and got the ball rolling for the Hornets offense. The Hornets chipped away at the deficit and cut it down to single digits by the midway point of the third quarter. The Knicks made just two field goals after that point. The Hornets didn’t shoot the ball exceedingly well to make their run, but they got a bunch of offensive rebounds to earn themselves extra shots. Four Nick Richards free throws off offensive rebounds capped an 11-0 run to put the Hornets in the lead, but Obi Toppin hit a three to put the Knicks up two heading into the fourth.
The Hornets got off to a slow start in the fourth with both Hayward and Rozier on the bench. They didn’t register their first field goal in the quarter until the 8:12 mark of the quarter after the Knicks had gone on a 9-0 run. The Knicks offense was almost completely nonexistent after that. While the Knicks were clanking awkward shots of the front of the rim, the Hornets were going on a 14-2 run with most of those points coming in multiples of three. Hayward capped that run with a leaning floater plus the foul to put the Hornets up three. He hit another fadeaway to put the Hornets back on top after Julius Randle tied the game again.
After PJ Washington blocked Josh Hart’s layup off Hart, the Hornets got a corner three from Kelly Oubre as the clock ticked under a minute. The teams traded fouls and free throws over that final minute as the Hornets kept the Knicks at bay.
The Hornets got big performances from all their key players, which is going to be the recipe for just about any win they get down this last stretch of the season. Oubre (27), Rozier (25), and Hayward (23) combined for 75 points while Washington chipped in a loud 13.
The Hornets continued their run of strong defensive performances outside of that second quarter. In the other three quarters, they held the Knicks to 22-of-69 (31.9%) shooting from the field and 5-of-31 (16.1%) from three. They clamped up the Knicks isolation-heavy offense and gave the Knicks very few easy looks. The Knicks were only able to muster 39 points in the second half.
The Hornets will try to make it two in a row on Thursday against the freefalling Pistons.