The Knicks traveled to Charlotte for a Friday night Knicks special. The game started out looking like it would be a Friday night blowout, until turning into a fourth quarter thriller.
The fourth quarter started out badly for the Knicks, as David Fizdale called a timeout down 15-8, and Kemba Walker had 11 of those 15 points. But, Fizdale had to call another timeout with down the Knicks 23-8. Kevin Knox had the hot hand as he had 10 first quarter points, including a three that stopped a 13-0 Charlotte first quarter run. At the end of the first quarter, Charlotte had more than double the Knicks points total, leading 33-16.
The second quarter got off to a rough start. Mitchell Robinson sprained his ankle, and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Charlotte would grow the lead to above 20, before more ankle woes struck the Knicks, as Frank Ntilikina rolled his ankle. Frank returned to the game, but was later ruled out for the rest of the game. The Knicks went into halftime down 72-53, which is the most points the Knicks have allowed in a half this season. Kevin Knox was the Knicks leader through two quarters as he had 17 points in 22 minutes. Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 13 points.
The Knicks would slowly cut the lead down throughout the third quarter. With about 4 and a half minutes left the in the third, the Knicks were down 83-70. At the end of the third Charlotte was leading 93-78.
About eight minutes left in the fourth, the Knicks cut the lead to single digits with a 9-0 run. They got the lead down to two points halfway through the quarter, and the Knicks took a one point lead. With the Hornets up by one, with two minutes left, Luke Kornet responded. Kornet hit a three to go up 109-108 with a minute and forty seconds left in the game. Down 111-113 with 27 seconds left, Emmanuel Mudiay knotted the game at 113. The Knicks secured a rebound with four seconds left, and missed a game winning shot, forcing the game to head to overtime. The last time the Knicks made a game winning shot was almost six years ago, as JR Smith made a three in Phoenix as the buzzer sounded.
The Knicks jumped out to a six point lead in overtime, their largest lead of the game. Charlotte would cut that lead down, and every time it looked like Charlotte would retake the lead, Mudiay answered. With 18 seconds left and the Knicks up three in overtime, the Hornets began to start fouling the Knicks. Mudiay made a layup, and the Hornets made it a two point game as they made a three. Down by two, the Hornets fouled Kevin Knox who missed both free throws. Kemba Walker went 92 feet down the court but missed a contested layup. Knicks win 126-124.
Luke Kornet finished with 13 points in his longest performance of the season. Emmanuel Mudiay had a career high of 34 points and 8 assists. Him and Kornet played key roles in a thrilling comeback win. Next up, the Knicks play the Pacers Sunday at five o’clock.