Bing Bong!!! The Charlotte Hornets were able to rally back from being down 16 points at the end of the 1st quarter to beat the New York Knicks 104-96 in front of a sell out crowd. This was the first of a four-game home stand and the Hornets 2nd straight win. Let’s break down how Charlotte was able to beat the Knicks.
1st Quarter Woes:
The Hornets’ trend of slow starts continued against the Knicks as Kemba Walker went off in the opening quarter. Kemba was out to get it back in blood against his former team with 17 points in the first period.
Gordon Hayward Kept the Hornets In It:
For a while the only player who seemed like he could get a bucket was Gordon Hayward. Hayward did just enough to keep the Hornets in it until other players stepped up. He was also good defensively against the Knicks – often switching onto bigger players and holding his ground as the Knicks’ bigs tried to bully him to the basket.
Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges Step Up in 2nd Half:
While Hayward kept the Hornets in the game in the 1st half, Terry Rozier and Miles Bridges would help put the Hornets out in front and close out the Knicks. Rozier scored 18 points and was efficient, while Miles would finish with 24 points and had a spectacular fourth quarter. After Obi Toppin put the Knicks out in front with a filthy windmill dunk that had the Knicks fans in the house going crazy, Miles would tie the game with a windmill of his own that had Hornets faithful turned up right back at the Knicks fans. Miles then put Julius Randle in a blender with a spin move and finish that would help extend the Hornets lead. To cap it off, Miles hit a tough and-1 layup over Randle with the Hornets up 3 to extend their lead to 101-95 with just over 90 seconds left in the game.
LaMelo does a little of everything:
LaMelo Ball didn’t have his best shooting night, but still was able to stuff the stat sheet. He had 12 points, 17 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 steals and was able to pick a pass off and lay it up to put the Hornets up by 8 with under a minute to go in the game – sealing the Knicks’ fate.
The Hornets need to rest up as they face the NBA’s best team Sunday in the Golden Warriors as Charlotte’s golden child, Steph Curry, returns home. Expect another packed and hyped-up crowd as The Hive was truly alive against the Knicks.