Jeremy Lin and Kemba Walker have formed a lethal backcourt combination for Charlotte Hornets this season. On Monday night, during Kobe Bryant’s final visit to Charlotte, the Hornets guards upped the ante as the Hornets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-99.
Lin had 13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in another all-round effort off the bench. Walker posted 38 points to go with his 5 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. |Final Box Score|
Once again, Lin was the difference maker off the bench, proving why he’s the leading candidate to win the Sixth Man of the Year award. With 8:02 left in the third quarter, and the scores tied at 63, Lin checked in to turn the game on its head. After a crucial layup and a free throw to tie the scores at 68, Lin threaded the needle to find an open Nicolas Batum for a three-point shot.
With Hornets leading 72-71, Lin hit a 25-foot three pointer to give the Hornets a four-point lead. Thereafter, Lin and the Hornets played some lockdown defense as the home side finished the third quarter with an 85-81 lead.
In a rather surprising move, Hornets coach Steve Clifford let Lin run the Point during the closing quarter. Lin didn’t disappoint, finding Walker and Al Jefferson for crucial makes as the Hornets began to run away with the lead.
Walker had an amazing fourth quarter, scoring 14 of his 38 points to end any hopes of a Lakers comeback.
Jeremy Lin owns Jordan Clarkson
Jeremy Lin’s highlight play came early in the first quarter when he blocked Jordan Clarkson’s attempted 6-foot jumper, evoking a thunderous reaction from the Hornets fans. With 10 seconds left, Lin once again blocked Clarkson’s 16-foot jumper, highlighting his improved defensive prowess.
In the second quarter, Lin made a mockery of D’Angelo Russell by picking his pocket before finding PJ Hairston for a 16-foot jump shot.
For the Lakers, Kobe Bryant finished with 20 points and 4 rebounds in his final outing in Charlotte. Prior to the game, Hornets chairman Michael Jordan broadcasted a video message to pay homage to the Laker legend. Larry Nance Jr. finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds, while Julius Randle had 11 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Russell (5 points) and Jordan Clarkson (8 points) had forgettable outings while Brandon Bass (12 points) made all five shots off the bench.
Jeremy Lin and the Charlotte Hornets are now 17-13 in the grueling Eastern Conference. The Lakers stumbled to 5-27 in their worst season in franchise history.
Stay tuned for post-game quotes and analysis.
Hornets WIN! pic.twitter.com/eiTsnhq5yr
— The Honey Bees (@thehoneybees) December 29, 2015
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) December 29, 2015
— NBA (@NBA) December 29, 2015