Jeremy Lin, Kemba Walker Help Hornets Level Series 2-2
Jeremy Lin (21 points, 3 assists, 2 steals, 6-10 FG) and Kemba Walker (34 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 13-28 FG) combined for 55 points as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Miami Heat 89-85 Monday in Game 4 of the 2016 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Round 1.Advertisement
Lin, in his first playoff series since the 2013-14 season with the Houston Rockets, has been the X Factor for the Hornets during the back-to-back victories, following Saturday’s team-high 18 points with another solid outing on Monday to help his team bounce back from a 0-2 series deficit.
With Hornets missing the services of Nicolas Batum, Lin has seen increased playing time, often sharing the backcourt with Walker or just running the second unit. Even though Lin helped the Hornets secure defensive stops down the stretch, Walker provided the finishing touch with 11 consecutive points in the fourth quarter after Miami cut down their lead to two with only 6:07 left. |Final Box Score|
Jeremy Lin: Put everything out there
With 4.6 seconds left, Courtney Lee sank two free throws after being fouled on an offensive rebound to seal the win. “We fought so hard tonight. Up 18 (points) and then all of sudden up one. We put everything out there and I’m glad we got the win,” an elated Jeremy Lin said after the win.
For Miami, veterans Joe Johnson and Luol Deng had 16 and 15 points respectively. The backcourt of Goran Dragic and Dwayne Wade had a dozen points apiece, but couldn’t hit the clutch shots down the stretch. Even though Wade had a playoff-high 10 assists, he could help the Heat close the deal in the narrow fourth quarter in which Hornets outscored Miami 24-20.
After giving up an early 7-point lead in the first quarter, Charlotte ran away with the game in the second quarter, outscoring Miami 29-13. The Heat dominated their first two home games by a margin of 22 points, but the Hornets still prevailed in low-scoring games.
With the series shifting back to Miami, it’s safe to bet on Dwayne Wade & Co. to return to winning ways. However, it wouldn’t be easy to counter the double threat of Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker.