Sports Knicks beat Hornets 109-97, run winning streak to 7 games
McDaniels has career-high 21 points, Hornets beat Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY — Jalen McDaniels had a career-high 21 points in his second career start to help the Charlotte Hornets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-102 on Wednesday night. McDaniels also had six rebounds and three assists. Terry Rozier scored 17 points, Miles Bridges had 16 and Devonte’ Garaham and Cody Zeller added 15 each, and Zeller had 14 rebounds. Aleksej Pokusevski led the Thunder with a career-high 25 points behind a franchise rookie-record seven 3-pointers. Theo Maledon also had 25 points. Charlotte’s 11-point victory followed its most lopsided loss of the season, a 116-86 drubbing to the Boston Celtics on Sunday.
NEW YORK — RJ Barrett scored 18 of his 24 points in the third quarter and the New York Knicks beat the Charlotte Hornets 109-97 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory.
Barrett’s offence and the Knicks’ defence changed the game after the Hornets scored 66 points in the first half. New York held Charlotte to just 31 after halftime.
Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickley each scored 17 points off the bench for the Knicks, who moved into fifth place in the Eastern Conference. They bring their longest winning streak since winning eight straight in March 2014 into Wednesday's game against fourth-place Atlanta.
Bridges leads Hornets to 127-119 win over short-handed Bucks
MILWAUKEE — Miles Bridges scored 26 points to lead the Charlotte Hornets to a 127-119 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, who were playing Friday night without all five of their usual starters. The Hornets (27-24) are three games above .500 for the first time since January 2017. Charlotte finished that 2016-17 season with a 36-46 record. “I'm proud of our guys, that they've put us in this position to be where we're at," Hornets coach James BorregoThe Hornets (27-24) are three games above .500 for the first time since January 2017. Charlotte finished that 2016-17 season with a 36-46 record.
Coach Tom Thibodeau warned that his team can’t afford to lose its focus.
“The important thing for us is not to get lost. You start looking into the playoffs (and) win streaks, you lose focus on getting ready for Atlanta,” Thibodeau said. “That’s where our focus has to be. We just go day-by-day, step-by-step, and if we’re taking care of all the things we need to take care of, then all of the other stuff will take care of itself. And it’s easy to get knocked off course. You can’t do that.”
Julius Randle and Reggie Bullock each had 16 points.
P.J. Washington scored 26 points and Terry Rozier had 21 for the Hornets, who have lost five of six.
Charlotte shook off a slow first quarter and took a 66-60 advantage at halftime, led by 24 points from Washington.
Randle nets 32 as Knicks limit Zion, beat Pelicans 116-106
NEW ORLEANS — Julius Randle hit contested mid-range shots, at times while fading away from the basket, as the fourth quarter wound down. When Zion Williamson tried to answer, he ran into a wall of defenders in front of the rim, and his Pelicans teammates couldn't shoot well enough from outside to make the Knicks pay for packing the paint. Randle scored 32 points against his former team and the Knicks clamped down defensively on Williamson for a 116-106 victory over New Orleans on Wednesday night. “Zion’s a handful, so we had to show him as many bodies as we can and get out and cover the shooters,” Randle said.
After shooting 26 for 46 from the field and 13 for 19 behind the 3-point line in the first half, the Hornets struggled in the second half, making 13 of 40 shots from the field and connecting on just 3 of their 20 3-point attempts.
Charlotte took only eight free throws attempts the entire game, making three.
“The goal is to get to the rim, to create offence for us downhill and our guys drove it tonight,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “Why we didn’t get the free throw calls? I don’t know.”
New York, which had lost five straight games to the Hornets, opened the third quarter with a six straight points to tie it on a dunk by Nerlens Noel.
After Jalen McDaniels tied it at 69, New York went on an 19-8 run, capped by five straight points from Barrett to make it 88-77 with 2:36 left in the quarter.
A 7-0 run highlighted by Bullock’s 3-pointer increased New York’s lead to 102-90 with 6:40 left in the fourth quarter. Charlotte answered with five straight points to cut the lead to 102-95.
Randle scores 44 in hometown, Knicks beat Mavs 117-109
DALLAS — Julius Randle scored 44 points in his best game in his hometown, leading the New York Knicks to a 117-109 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night for a five-game winning streak, their longest in seven years. RJ Barrett had 24 points and eight rebounds. Derrick Rose added 15 points with fellow backup guard Alec Burks sidelined by COVID-19 protocols. “I was locked in and focused,” said Randle, whose third career 40-point game came a night after scoring 32 in a 116-106 victory at New Orleans. “I always love playing at home in front of my friends, in front of my family. I never take those moments for granted.” The Knicks (30-27) are three games over .
The Knicks then put the game out of reach with 3-pointer from Bullock and a jumper from Rose with 2:28 left in regulation.
New York pulled within a half-game of the Hawks.
“We just got to take it day-by-day, not to think ahead,” Rose said. “Of course you want the first spot, but we got to take it every day, every practice, every shootaround.’
Hornets: Washington is the sixth Charlotte player in the last 25 seasons to score more than 20 points in the first half off the bench. … Malik Monk has 24 first-half points against Miami on March 26. … Miles Bridges had 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Knicks: Quickley scored all of his points in the first half. He was 4 for 7 behind the 3-point line. ... The Knicks made 18 3-pointers.
Borrego could not give a timeline as to when rookie LaMelo Ball will return to the lineup after fracturing his right wrist March 20 against the Los Angeles Clippers.
"Nothing is written in stone,” Borrego said. “There’s an opportunity to him back (now that) the cast is off.”
The Hornets will look to see if the “flexibility” in Ball’s wrist improves significantly now that he has been granted permission by the medical staff for individual basketball activity.
Ball, the their third pick in the 2020 draft, averaged 15.9 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds in 41 games before he was injured.
“He’s young and I’m hopeful that helps that that wrist gets back to normal. We have a little bit of time,” Borrego said. “The No. 1 thing is it doesn’t sound like he can injure this thing further.”
Hornets: Visit the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.
Knicks: Host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night
The Associated Press
Bucks avoid series sweep with 114-104 win over Hornets .
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Giannis Antetokounmpo wasn't about to let the Milwaukee Bucks get swept by the Charlotte Hornets this season. Antetokounmpo had 29 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Brook Lopez added 22 points and the Bucks held off the Hornets 114-104 on Tuesday night to avoid losing all three matchups this season. The Hornets (30-31) beat the Bucks by 12 at home in January, and then by eight on April 9 in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo seemed determined not to let that happen again. The two-time NBA MVP played with aggression, finishing 11 of 19 from the field and 5 of 5 from the free throw line. “We came out with focus knowing they had beat us twice,” Antetokounmpo said.