Walker scores 46, Hornets rout Grizzlies 140-79
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 23, 2018 09:35 AM
Charlotte Hornets' Kemba Walker (15) celebrates with Willy Hernangomez (41) during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies in Charlotte, N.C., Thursday, March 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
By Richard Walker, Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 46 points and made 10 three-pointers, and the Charlotte Hornets rolled to the most lopsided victory in franchise history by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 140-79 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).
Walker had the ninth 40-point game of his career as the Hornets easily overcame the absence of the suspended Dwight Howard. The All-Star guard hit 13-of-18 shots overall, including 10-of-14 on three-pointers, and was 10 of 10 on free throws in 28 minutes.
He scored 17 points in the first quarter, 18 in the second quarter and 11 in the third before he was replaced for the final time with 1:48 left in the period.
It came one night after Howard's 32-point, 30-rebound performance that helped Charlotte rally from a 23-point deficit for a 111-105 victory at Brooklyn. But in the process, Howard was whistled for his 16th technical foul of the season, meaning he had to serve a one-game suspension on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).
It didn't matter as the Hornets roared ahead 12-2 in the first 4.5 minutes, were ahead 37-14 after one quarter, 75-42 at halftime and by a game-high 65 points (137-72) with 1:45 left before taking the 61-point win.
Charlotte's largest previous win in franchise history came by 52 points (136-84) at home against Philadelphia on Feb. 27, 1992.
It was the third-highest scoring game of Walker's career. The 6'1" point guard had a career-high 52 points against Utah in a 124-119 double-overtime win in January 2016, and had 47 points in a 123-120 loss at Chicago in November 2017.
Marvin Williams and Dwayne Bacon added 15 points apiece for Charlotte. Wayne Selden had 18 for Memphis.
Grizzlies: Memphis interim head coach J.B. Bickerstaff was on the Charlotte coaching staff when the city returned to the NBA in 2004 and nicknamed Bobcats. Then a 25-year-old assistant coach to his father Bernie Bickerstaff, J.B. Bickerstaff was the youngest coach in the NBA at that time.
Hornets: On Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), Howard became one of only three players in the last 20 years (Andrew Bynum on April 11, 2012, and Kevin Love on Nov. 12, 2010) to get 30 rebounds in a game.
Grizzlies: Host Lakers on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time).
Hornets: Visit Mavericks on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time).