Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte’s Backcourt Connection Leads Comeback Win Over Lakers

By Sam Perley, hornets.com

Result

Kemba Walker nearly notched a triple-double (28 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds) and Nicolas Batum added a double-double (23 points, 10 assists) of his own as Charlotte’s backcourt combined for 51 points and 20 assists to help the Hornets rally from a 19-point deficit and defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, 117-113, on Dec. 20 at Spectrum Center. The win moves the Hornets to 16-13 overall as they remain atop the Southeast Division standings.

Turning Point

Charlotte’s 15-0 run early in the third quarter all but erased the Lakers 17-point lead and made the second half a game again, but it was Kemba Walker’s work on the glass that sealed the game for the Hornets in the final moments. Tied 113-113 with 29.9 seconds remaining, Walker’s three from the right side was too strong, but the Hornets leader followed his own shot and was able to track down the offensive rebound before kicking the ball back to Nicolas Batum. From there, Batum drove the lane on the right side and connected on a running bank shot with 13.0 remaining to put Charlotte up 115-113. On the Lakers next possession, it was again Walker who was there to clean the glass after Nick Young missed a three of his own from the right side with 8.7 ticks left. Walker was fouled but Los Angeles still had a foul to give. 2.7 seconds later Batum stepped to the line and calmly knocked down two free throws to secure the Hornets win.

Hornets Player of the Game

Nicolas Batum logged his eighth double-double of the season (second point-assist) with 23 points and 10 assists. He went 8-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-3 from long range, and connected on all five of his free throw attempts. Batum also knocked down the game-winning shot with 13.0 seconds remaining and sealed the win with two free throws with 6.0 ticks on the clock.

Lakers Player of the Game

Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to lead the Lakers with 25 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including a scorching 7-of-9 from behind the arc. Clarkson also handed out five assists, grabbed three rebounds and added one steal and one block in the losing effort.

Game Notes

Kemba Walker scored a game-high 28 points, including 15 in the third quarter to bring Charlotte back in the game, and handed out 10 assists for this fourth double-double of the season. It also marked his 19th 20+point outing of 2015-16. Walker was two rebounds shy of a triple-double, finishing with eight boards, including two crucial rebounds – one on each end of the court – in the final 30 seconds… This marked the first time since 1/28/12 that two Hornets players have had a point-assist double-double (Kemba Walker and Boris Diaw)… Marvin Williams had 15 points, coming off a season-high-tying 19-point performance on Dec. 17 at Atlanta… Marco Belinelli recorded his ninth game with double-figure scoring in December, tallying 13 points… The win for Charlotte marks their fourth-straight against the Lakers dating back to 3/3/15, an all-time best streak against Los Angeles Lakers… The win marks the second time the Hornets have overcome a 19-point deficit to win a game this year (Oct. 28 at Miami)… The Hornets handed out 30 assists tonight, their fourth game with 30 assists this season. They only dished out 30-or-more assists twice in 82 games during 2015-16… The Hornets outscored the Lakers 58-40 in the second half… The Lakers hit 16-of-33 three-pointers, tying their-season high.

Quote of the Night

“When they gave me the ball I was looking for Kemba [Walker] to get the ball back and they were denying him [the ball]. So he just told me ‘just go Nic, you got it’. [I thought] okay this may be my chance to win the game. I had to do a better job, I didn’t do it in Boston especially, to close the game so I had to do it tonight and I did a good job tonight.” – Nicolas Batum on the game-winning shot.

Quote of the Night


“When they gave me the ball I was looking for Kemba [Walker] to get the ball back and they were denying him [the ball]. So he just told me ‘just go Nic, you got it’. [I thought] okay this may be my chance to win the game. I had to do a better job, I didn’t do it in Boston especially, to close the game so I had to do it tonight and I did a good job tonight.” – Nicolas Batum on the game-winning shot.

Next Up

The Hornets take on the Chicago Bulls at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23 in Charlotte. The game can be seen on FOX Sports Southeast or heard on WFNZ or on the official Charlotte Hornets mobile app.


next up

Friday Dec 23 – 7:00 pmSpectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

Fox Sports Southeast – Charlotte Hornets App & WFNZ 610 AM

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