(SportsNetwork.com) – The Charlotte Hornets needed overtime to get past
arguably the NBA’s worst team last season for their first win of 2014-15.
The Hornets will try to prevail in the 48 minutes allotted Saturday versus the
Memphis Grizzlies at Time Warner Cable Arena.
Charlotte recorded a 108-106 overtime triumph versus the Milwaukee Bucks on
Wednesday and was led by Kemba Walker’s 26 points. Marvin Williams and Michael
Kidd-Gilchrist registered 19 and 17 points, respectively, while Al Jefferson
posted 14 and 10 rebounds. Jefferson recorded a double-double for a 10th
straight regular-season game dating back to last season.
Walker hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 1.6 seconds to go in regulation. His
basket with 5.1 seconds left in overtime was the difference.
Lance Stephenson made his Hornets debut and had seven points, 13 rebounds and
eight assists. Charlotte shot 40.6 percent for the game and made only 6-of-21
3-pointers. It rallied in the fourth quarter by scoring 32 points to
Milwaukee’s 17 and had an 8-6 edge in OT.
“To be honest, I think (Milwaukee) played a lot better than we did,” Hornets
head coach Steve Clifford said of his team’s 24-point turnaround. “I did like
the fact that when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter, at the end
of the third and in overtime, we really tried hard to guard and we did a lot
better. And guys made big plays.”
Charlotte improved to 9-1 over the last 10 regular-season games dating back to
last season, including a five-game win streak from March 31-April 9.
The Hornets will play six of the next eight games on the road after Saturday.
Memphis improved to 2-0 in this young campaign with a 97-89 victory Friday
night over the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Grizz won the
battle of two of the NBA’s elite defenses from last season with, you guessed
“It was all defense for us,” guard Mike Conley said. “The defense got the
stops that we needed them to and we got out in transition to get some easy
The Pacers shot respectable percentages from the field, but the Grizzlies put
the game away with a 33-14 third-quarter scoring differential. Memphis went on
a 26-2 run during that pivotal 12-minute stretch.
“We played with a lot more aggressiveness in the second half so they weren’t
able to get up as many shots and get up by as many points in the second half,”
noted Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger.
Zach Randolph scored 22 points with 13 rebounds to lead the Grizzlies. Marc
Gasol, coming off a career-high 32 points in Memphis’ season-opening win over
Minnesota, deposited 20 points with six rebounds. Conley added 17 points in
Guard Courtney Lee suffered a mild concussion in the first half and his
availability for Saturday is unknown.
Memphis and Charlotte split two meetings last season. These two teams have
split the 10 meetings at Charlotte and will meet again on Dec. 12 in Memphis.