Walker, Lamb lead Hornets over Knicks
NEW YORK — The Charlotte Hornets got off to a strong start and cruised to an easy win.
Kemba Walker scored 25 points and Jeremy Lamb added 19 as Charlotte beat the New York Knicks 119-107 on Sunday night in a game it never trailed.
Tony Parker scored 16 points, Marvin Williams had 13 and Cody Zeller finished with 12 as the Hornets led by as many as 28 points.
“We knew they played last night. We wanted to come out really aggressive on both ends of the floor and it worked out for us,” Walker said. “We wanted to jump on them. We really needed this win.”
Knicks rookie Kevin Knox tied a season high with 26 points and set a career high with 15 rebounds, while Tim Hardaway Jr. added 21 points.
“I just wanted to make sure I gave everything I had in the tank, leave it all out on the floor,” Knox said.
Lamb’s layup with 8:50 left in the third quarter gave the Hornets their biggest lead at 77-49.
New York pulled within 18 on Knox’s 3-pointer before Walker’s long 3 pushed the lead to 99-78 heading to the fourth.
The Knicks opened the fourth with a 7-0 run to pull within 14 on Frank Ntilikina’s jumper with 10:47 remaining. However, the Hornets scored the next 12 points to put the game out of reach.
“Once we settled into the game, the ball was moving, shots were going down, we were getting stops,” said Hornets coach James Borrego.
During that run, Ntilikina, who finished with 18 points — all in the second half — fouled out running into Parker with nine minutes left and Knicks coach David Fizdale was accessed two technical fouls and ejected with 8:33 remaining.
“It was a little frustrating,” Ntilikina said. “He (Parker) is one of the guards I respect in this league. I’ve been watching him since I was young.”
Zeller scored 10 points in the first quarter as the Hornets opened up a pair of seven-point leads. Parker came off the bench to score eight and Charlotte led 27-24 after the first 12 minutes.
“I wanted to come out with a lot of energy to start with,” Zeller said. “Throughout the season we’ve come out slow for a few games. I took it upon myself to come out with a lot of energy.”
The Hornets opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run, but the Knicks responded by scoring the next six points to pull to 34-30. Charlotte followed with an 18-4 stretch to take an 18-point lead.
New York closed within 10 by scoring the next eight points, but the Hornets went on to lead 61-47 at halftime.
Damyean Dotson added 12 points for the Knicks, who have lost four straight.
Hornets: Three Charlotte players (Walker, Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lamb) have started all of their 26 games this season, while two others (Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller) have started 25. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Willy Hernangomez have each started once.
Knicks: New York had defeated Charlotte four consecutive times at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks hadn’t been beaten by the Hornets at home since April 6, 2016. … Allonzo Trier, who strained his left hamstring in Saturday’s loss to Brooklyn, did not play.
The Hornets have not been more than one game above .500 or more than two games below .500 all season long. Their longest winning streak is two games (five occasions) and they have one three-game losing streak (Nov. 30-Dec. 5).
KNICKS’ ACHING BACK
The Knicks have now played six back-to-back sets this season. They are 1-11 in those games, with their only victory coming at Boston, 117-109 on Nov. 21.
The Hornets begin a five-game homestand on Wednesday when they host the Pistons, and end it when they play Detroit again on Dec. 21. It is part of a stretch in which Charlotte plays 10 of 12 games on its home floor, with the only away games having taken place in Minnesota (Wednesday) and New York.
Hornets: Host Detroit on Wednesday night.
Knicks: At Cleveland on Wednesday night.