Charlotte Hornets rookie Malik Monk (1) made four 3-pointers and scored 18 points in the first half of Tuesday’s road game against the New York Knicks. Frank Franklin II AP
Charlotte Hornets rookie Malik Monk (1) made four 3-pointers and scored 18 points in the first half of Tuesday’s road game against the New York Knicks. Frank Franklin II AP

Charlotte Hornets

Defense lets down Charlotte Hornets in third consecutive loss

November 07, 2017 10:11 PM

NEW YORK

Former Charlotte Hornet Courtney Lee hit two free throws with three-tenths of a second left to clinch a 118-113 New York Knicks victory over the Hornets at Madison Square Garden.

Trailing by as much as 15 points, the Knicks (6-4) took back the lead with 1 minute, 48 seconds left on a step-back 3-pointer by Most Valuable Player candidate Kristaps Porzingis (28 points, five rebounds and three blocks). New York rookie point guard Frank Ntilikina got Porzingis the ball wide open.

Porzingis then took advantage of a late switch on defense, driving on rookie guard Malik Monk (21 points) for a layup and a 3-point lead with 11 seconds left. The Knicks trapped Hornets point guard Kemba Walker (21 points, 7 assists and five rebounds) along the sideline, and he gave up the ball with 1.5 seconds left.

This was the Hornets’ third consecutive loss, each on the road. They are 5-6 this season, and play the Celtics in Boston Friday.

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Three who mattered

Monk: Beyond the obvious scoring in the first half, he made a spectacular feed to Marvin Williams.

Dwight Howard: He sure didn’t look like he was playing hurt Tuesday, finishing with 21 points and nine rebounds.

Porzingis: Those “MVP” chants in New York have early-season validity.

Observations

▪  Hornets center Dwight Howard played with a sprained right foot. While the Hornets listed him as probable, it was up in the air whether he played until pre-game warmups.

▪  The NBA fined Howard $25,000 for making an obscene gesture, directed at a fan during Sunday’s road loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

▪  Two more alley-oop plays for the Hornets in the first quarter Monday. They scored off a total of 17 last season, were at 10 entering this game.

▪  Before the game, Steve Clifford said this is the most talented team he has coached with the Hornets. (Now, if they can ever get healthy...)

▪  The Hornets started this game red hot offensively with 41 points in the first quarter, making seven of their first nine shots.

Worth mentioning

▪  Hornets center Cody Zeller’s shot was blocked three consecutive times on the same first-quarter possession before he was fouled.

▪  Reserve point guard Michael Carter-Williams is starting to get some sustained minutes, as he gets back in game shape, after missing the summer with soreness in both knees.

▪  Forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed his sixth regular-season game with excused personal absences.

Report card

B+ OFFENSE: Good dribble penetration and some terrific 3-point shooting in the first half.

D DEFENSE: Way too many second-shot opportunities for the Knicks.

C+ COACHING: This team isn’t realizing its potential defensively.

Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell

KNICKS 118, HORNETS 113

Charlotte

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Bacon

18:32

0-1

0-0

2

3

0

Williams

27:50

3-8

5-5

3

2

12

Howard

30:25

9-11

3-3

9

4

21

Lamb

26:58

5-13

2-2

5

0

15

Walker

32:56

8-16

1-1

5

3

21

Monk

26:42

8-17

0-0

2

0

21

Carter-Williams

20:22

1-3

2-2

3

3

4

Kaminsky

20:10

2-6

0-2

2

1

5

Graham

18:54

3-7

0-0

2

5

7

Zeller

17:11

3-9

1-2

7

1

7

Totals

240:00

42-91

14-17

40

22

113

Percentages: FG .462, FT .824. 3-Point Goals: 15-37, .405 (Monk 5-13, Walker 4-8, Lamb 3-6, Kaminsky 1-2, Graham 1-4, Williams 1-4). Team Rebounds: 6. Team Turnovers: 13 (17 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Howard, Zeller). Turnovers: 13 (Walker 5, Howard 3, Lamb 3, Kaminsky, Monk). Steals: 8 (Carter-Williams 3, Williams 2, Graham, Howard, Walker).

New York

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

F

Pt

Hardaway Jr.

33:07

6-14

4-8

5

3

19

Porzingis

28:48

10-15

4-4

5

3

28

Kanter

24:30

7-8

0-0

6

4

14

Jack

22:26

3-7

0-0

1

1

6

Lee

35:45

2-6

2-2

3

0

6

McDermott

27:09

7-8

3-3

2

2

20

Ntilikina

25:34

1-5

1-2

3

4

3

Thomas

24:45

3-3

2-2

5

1

10

O’Quinn

17:56

6-9

0-0

5

1

12

Totals

240:00

45-75

16-21

35

19

118

Percentages: FG .600, FT .762. 3-Point Goals: 12-25, .480 (Porzingis 4-8, McDermott 3-3, Hardaway Jr. 3-7, Thomas 2-2, Jack 0-1, Lee 0-1, Ntilikina 0-3). Team Rebounds: 6. Team Turnovers: 16 (18 PTS). Blocked Shots: 5 (Porzingis 3, O’Quinn 2). Turnovers: 16 (Porzingis 5, Ntilikina 3, Kanter 2, Lee 2, Thomas 2, Hardaway Jr., O’Quinn). Steals: 5 (Kanter 3, Hardaway Jr., O’Quinn). Technical Fouls: coach Jeff Hornacek, 8:06 fourth.

Charlotte

41

28

25

19

113

New York

32

26

25

35

118

Att.—18,704 (19,812). T—2:15.

Officials—Scott Wall, John Goble, Haywoode Workman