Walker scores 23 as Hornets rout Hawks, 107-84
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina—Kemba Walker scored 23 points and the Charlotte Hornets pulled away in the second half to beat the Atlanta Hawks 107-84 Wednesday night and stop a seven-game losing streak.
Cody Zeller added 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Jeremy Lin had 19 points for Charlotte. The Hornets led by as many as 35 points.
Paul Millsap scored 20 points for the Hawks, who shot just 37 percent from the field (30 of 81) and made only 7 of 25 3-pointers.
Leading by nine points at halftime, Charlotte stretched its lead to 22 points in the third quarter and then opened the fourth quarter with a 21-8 run.
Behind Walker’s 14 first-half points, Charlotte took advantage of Atlanta’s shooting problems to lead by as many as 15 points before going into halftime with a 45-36 lead.
After scoring the opening basket, the Hawks went nearly 6 1/2 minutes early in the first quarter between field goals. The Hornets scored 17 consecutive points, and Lin’s two free throws put them ahead 17-2 with 5:25 left.
However, Charlotte went through its own dry spell over the final 6 minutes of the first quarter, going without a field goal over that span. Atlanta went on a 17-3 run, and Tim Hardaway Jr.’s three-point play with 53.9 seconds left pulled the Hawks within 20-19.
The Hornets built another double-digit lead in the second quarter, opening the period with a 14-2 run. A short jumper by Lin put Charlotte up 34-21 with 6:35 left.
The Hornets took double-digit leads four more times in the period, the last at 45-34 on two free throws by P.J. Hairston with 22 seconds remaining.