Emmanuel Mudiay can play some serious ball. Mudiay lit up the Charlotte Hornets for a career high 34 points against Kemba Walker and tallied a season high eight assists onto his amazing performance in the 124-126 victory for New York.
The first half was all Charlotte basketball as they took a commanding 21 point lead going into halftime. Emmanuel Mudiay had just five points leading to the third quarter, and it looked like an easy win for the Hornets.
Knicks head coach David Fizdale made the adjustment to switch to zone defense at halftime in an attempt to come back into the game, and it worked! The Hornets had an extremely high 16 turnovers for the game, with the Knicks defense proving gritty under Fizdale’s mentorship, with 11 steals and 8 blocks to show for it, despite Ntilikina, Dotson and Robinson (New York’s backup defensive team) out for injuries with Robinson and Ntilikina suffering ankle sprains throughout the game.
They made the adjustment. We were kind of lax on offense, because we haven’t really faced zone defense this year. We didn’t face zone defense for 29 minutes like we did in the second half so we’ve got to work on that.Nicolas Batum, Hornets guard/forward
Despite the defensive effort by New York, every starter in Charlotte scored at least 16 points, headlined by Nicolas Batum and Cody Zeller with 21 points each.
The fourth quarter of this game was intense. Charlotte and New York exchanged possession of the lead seven times in just the fourth quarter alone. Emmanuel Mudiay put up the game tying shot to force overtime, and his buckets during late overtime helped create distance between Charlotte and New York.
The surprise of the game is deserved by Luke Kornet of the New York Knicks, who finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks in just 24 minutes. This performance was probably fueled by the recent firing of teammate Ron Baker in order to sign undrafted rookie star Allonzo Trier. The management were deciding between Kornet and Baker, with Baker being released just yesterday.
Kevin Knox continues to look solid for the Knicks this December, ending the night on 20-3-3 with some highlight plays to fill the game.
Noah Vonleh of the Knicks also had an outstanding game with 15 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists and a block.
Kemba Walker of the Hornets had a solid yet inefficient game with 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 16 points on 6/20 shooting.
Marvin Williams of the Charlotte Hornets recorded 20 points, with 12 of them coming from his hot 3 point shooting. He also ended the night with 5 rebounds and 5 personal fouls.
The New York Knicks next visit the Indiana Pacers on Sunday night.
The Charlotte Hornets will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.