Knicks stumble in Charlotte, lose 104-96 to Hornets after blowing double digit lead
The New York Knicks had another heartbreak game on Friday night in Charlotte where they blew a 16 points lead and lost down the stretch 104-96 to the Hornets.
“It’s pretty disappointing but not because it’s in Charlotte, just in general. I thought we started so well. And just the way the loss [happened] is most disappointing.”
– Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker played his best game in a Knick uniform, scoring 17 of his total 26 points in the first quarter when he steered the Knicks to take a 34-18 lead against his former team. The tempo maintained in the second quarter and New York were still up 55-46 at halftime.
But the Hornets struck hard in the third when they forced a comeback that carried them to take an 11 point lead late in the same period while the Knicks starters were simply unable to reply.
Coach Thibodeau sent again the second unit in and in a span of 5 minutes they managed to tie the game. The fourth quarter was a hectic one with both teams trading points as the lead alternated with every basket made.
The Knicks were leading 93-91 with almost 5 minutes on the clock when, one by one, the starters were reinserted into the game. Walker was sent in for Derrick Rose (who hurt his ankle) and the Hornets tied the game. Then, Julius Randle replaced Obi Toppin and the Hornets scored from long distance. Finally, RJ Barrett entered for Taj Gibson and once again the Hornets made one from behind the arc to take a 98-93 lead.
Randle, who finished with 10 points on a 4-15 shooting missed three consecutive free throws in the final minute and Barrett was simply bad throughout the whole game. 1-9 from the field and just 2 points in almost 26 minutes. Walker was washed out as well in his last minutes, unable to score and turning the ball over in a key moment.
Evan Fournier continued to struggle shooting 2-6 and finishing with just 5 points. Alec Burks led the bench with 15 points and 9 rebounds, he made three shots from long range and shot 6-12.
The Hornets were led by Miles Bridges who finished with 24 points and Gordon Hayward added 22. Kelly Oubre Jr scored 12 points off the bench, all of them from behind the three point line.
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Up-next: The Knicks (7-6) will return to the Garden for the following three games and after a three day rest they will host the Indiana Pacers (5-8) on Monday from 7:00pm.