NBA: Walker's 32 keeps Hornets' playoff hopes alive

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Apr 04 2019 11:01 AM

Kemba Walker scored 32 points as the visiting Charlotte Hornets kept their playoff hopes mathematically alive with a 115-109 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night.

Walker, who had 47 points in a 111-102 loss at Utah on Monday, helped the Hornets salvage the final game of a four-game road trip that began with losses at the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors.

Frank Kaminsky added 21 points, including 18 in the second half, Devonte' Graham had 13 and Jeremy Lamb 12 for Charlotte (36-42), which is in 10th place in the Eastern Conference.

Julius Randle had 34 points and 11 rebounds, his 22nd game this season with at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, to lead the Pelicans (32-47), who lost for the 11th time in 13 games as they concluded a five-game homestand that featured just one win. Ian Clark and Stanley Johnson added 17 points each.

Charlotte led by four at halftime, but New Orleans tied the score twice before Kenrich Williams' 3-pointer gave the Pelicans a 70-67 lead midway through the period.

New Orleans twice led by five before Kaminsky scored seven points as the Hornets finished on a 9-0 run to take an 83-78 lead after three quarters.

The Pelicans started the fourth quarter on a 15-5 run before Walker's 3-pointer pulled Charlotte within 93-91 midway through the period.

That was part of a streak of 10 consecutive Hornets points by Walker that put Charlotte within a point.

Kaminsky pulled the Hornets even with a 3-pointer and Walker's 3-pointer gave them a 102-99 lead with 3:16 left.

Two more baskets and two free throws by Walker pushed the lead to seven with 1:25 left.

Both teams shot barely 30 percent from the floor, but Walker made all five of his free throws on his way to nine points as Charlotte took a 24-21 lead after the first quarter.

There were 12 lead changes and five ties in the second quarter before Malik Monk's 3-pointer with three seconds left helped the Hornets take a 59-55 halftime lead.

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