Kemba Walker's 34 points help Charlotte Hornets defeat New York Knicks

By Everett Merrill, The Sports Xchange
Kemba Walker's 34 points help Charlotte Hornets defeat New York Knicks
Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lamb (3) can't stop a pass by New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) in the second p[eriod at Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 6, 2016. Photo by Ray Stubblebine/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK -- From high school to college to the Charlotte Hornets, Madison Square Garden has been a comfortable second home to Kemba Walker.

In the 2011 Big East Tournament, Walker put on a dazzling display at the Garden, scoring 130 points in five games to lead UConn to the championship. In November, Walker recorded his first game of 30-plus points this season at the Garden.


The Garden played host Wednesday to another sterling Walker performance. The Bronx native poured in 34 points to lead the Hornets to a 111-97 win over the New York Knicks.

Walker now has 13 games with 30 or more points this season, the third-highest total in the Eastern Conference. He was 11 of 18 from the floor, making a career-best seven 3-pointers on 10 attempts.

RELATED Allen Iverson wants to "take back" practice rant

"I wanted to come out and just take the best shot possible," said Walker, who led an early Hornets charge. "I was able to make them tonight.

"I was disappointed in my play last night (a 96-90 loss at Toronto). I wanted to come out here and play better for my teammates and myself. I love playing here at the Garden. I always have since I was in high school.


"Just the things I've accomplished in this building over the years from college and stuff always brings back great memories."

RELATED Atlanta Hawks' Thabo Sefolosha sues police in NY incident

Walker played against Derrick Rose of Simeon (Ill.) in a high school showcase game at the Garden in 2007, won by Walker's Rice team.

The Hornets topped 100 points for the 45th time this season, the most since reaching that level 51 times in the 1995-96 season. '

Charlotte, which fell in Cleveland on Sunday and Toronto on Tuesday, had dropped a game behind Boston and Miami for fourth place and needed a win to maintain its hopes of getting home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

RELATED Philadelphia 76ers earn 10th win against New Orleans Pelicans

Al Jefferson came off the Charlotte bench to score 24 points in 28 minutes. He had 14 points in the fourth quarter.

Derrick Williams led the Knicks with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Sasha Vujacic netted 16 points and Carmelo Anthony dropped in 15 points.

Jefferson scored the Hornets' first 10 points of the fourth quarter to provide a 91-76 advantage with 8:05 left. Walker delivered two 3-pointers in a 10-3 Hornets buzz that pushed their lead to 81-70 with 1:00 left in the third.


"Al Jefferson got his game going in the fourth," observed Knicks interim coach Kurt Rambis. "We continued to not execute defensively. We also went through a period where we weren't executing our offense. The ball just stopped and everybody was just standing around."

Charlotte opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run to move ahead 62-54.

A 3-pointer from Williams at the halftime buzzer cut the Hornets' lead to 53-52.

The Knicks tied it at 34 on a jumper from Kyle O'Quinn with 7:10 left in the first half, but the Hornets responded with an 11-3 spurt for a 45-37 edge. Cody Zeller scored four points on two putbacks.

The Hornets led 30-25 after the first quarter thanks to 13 points from Walker, marking the 45th time that he has scored more than 10 points in a quarter this season. He was 5 of 7 from the floor, including 3 of 3 from long distance.

"He (Walker) has been our leader all year long," said Hornets forward Marvin Williams, who scored 13 points. "He's the captain of this team. He wants to win so bad. He likes to put the team on his back and take us home and that's what he did tonight."


Walker scored 10 of the Hornets' first 15 points for a four-point lead with 7:35 to go in the first quarter.

"You could tell in the shoot-around the way he (Walker) was shooting the ball that he was going to have a big game tonight," said Hornets coach Steve Clifford.

NOTES: Charlotte F Nicolas Batum missed his second straight game with a strained left knee. ... Hornets players have missed 157 games this season due to injury or illness. ... Charlotte is averaging over 100 points for the first time since the 1995-96 season. ... G Jose Calderon (bruised right quadriceps) and F Kristaps Porzingis (sore right shoulder) were out for the Knicks. ... Knicks F Carmelo Anthony was held to nine points on 4-for-11 shooting at Charlotte on Jan. 23 after averaging 33.8 points over his previous five meetings. ... Charlotte rookie F Frank Kaminsky made his third start of the season.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us