Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hornets Extra: Hornets 108, Bucks 106(OT)



If you were old enough to remember where you were on November 4, 1988, when the original Charlotte Hornets took the floor against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the old Charlotte Coliseum, you knew that Cleveland blew out Charlotte by 40 133-93, and the fans that stayed until the end gave the Hornets a standing ovation. Fast forward to last night, October 29, 2014, the date that fans have been waiting for since 2002, as the rebranded Charlotte Hornets made their return in thrilling style, and this time around, they didn't get blown out by 40, they came back from 24 points down in the third and to give the sellout crowd of 19,439 something to cheer about as they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime 108-106 for their first regular season win since 2002, and not only that, the 24 point deficit was the largest comeback in the 25 year history of Charlotte NBA Basketball(since 1988) by any team, Hornets or Bobcats.

The person that made it all happen was Kemba "Klutch" Walker, who tied it with a three in regulation and won it with a fade-away jumper in overtime, after he and the Hornets agreed on a 4-year extension to keep him in Charlotte.  "I was so high on adrenaline that I couldn't calm down. I was so anxious to be out there and the crowd was so into it." Walker said.

Walker would finish the night with 26 points to lead the Hornets in the win, pleasing head coach Steve Clifford on how his team stuck together and to battle back to get the win.  "He's courageous. I asked him if he was good and he said "I'll make one more play." And he did." quoted Clifford.  As team, Charlotte only shot 40.6% from the field, despite Milwaukee out-shooting them with 48.8%. The Hornets also had several other players reach double-figures, including Marvin Williams, who added in 19 points, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished his night with 17 points, after the team announced prior to last night's game that they exercised his fourth-year option.  "Big Al" Jefferson would pick up where he left off last season, with a double-double as he had 14 points and 10 rebounds and rounding out the group of double-figure scorers for the Hornets was Cody Zeller, who had 11 points off the bench in the win.

Milwaukee was led in scoring by Brandon Knight, who had 22 points to go with 13 assists, while he was joined in the effort by O.J. Mayo and Khris Middleton, who had 17 points each and Giannis Antetokounmpo, along with Larry Sanders each had 10 to round out the group of double-figure scorers for the Bucks(0-1)

The Hive was totally alive last night, and the fans totally enjoyed every single minute of it, as the Hornets hope to carry that momentum into Saturday night's game at Time Warner Cable Arena against the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:00 p.m., as they will re-hang the number 13 jersey of the late Bobby Phills at halftime of the game on Saturday.

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