CHARLOTTE, N.C.– Kemba Walker scored 46 points and made 10 3-pointers, and the Charlotte Hornets rolled to the most lopsided victory in franchise history by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 140-79 on Thursday night.
Walker had the ninth 40-point game of his career as the Hornets easily overcame the absence of the suspended Dwight Howard. The All-Star guard hit 13 of 18 shots overall, including 10 of 14 on 3-pointers, and was 10 of 10 on free throws in 28 minutes.
He scored 17 points in the first quarter, 18 in the second quarter and 11 in the third before he was replaced for the final time with 1:48 left in the period.
It came one night after Howard’s 32-point, 30-rebound performance that helped Charlotte rally from a 23-point deficit for a 111-105 victory at Brooklyn. But in the process, Howard was whistled for his 16th technical foul of the season, meaning he had to serve a one-game suspension on Thursday night.
Pelicans 128, Lakers 125
NEW ORLEANS – Anthony Davis capped a 33-point performance with two clutch free throws and a game-sealing steal in the final seconds, Rajon Rondo had 24 points and 10 assists, and New Orleans erased an 11-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Los Angeles.
Rondo scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, when the Pelicans could not have been blamed if they had faded, giving they were playing for the fifth time in six nights.
Instead, they produced a riveting rally that pulled them into fourth place in the Western Conference with nine games left in the regular season.
New Orleans, which had a game against Indiana rescheduled this week because of a roof leak that postponed a game in February, became the first team since Seattle in 1979 to win three home games on consecutive nights. New Orleans has won four straight since beating Boston on Sunday and 15 of 19 since Feb. 10.
Rockets 100, Pistons 96 (OT)
HOUSTON – James Harden scored 21 points, including 10 of Houston’s 12 points in overtime, to shake off a tough four quarters and lift the Rockets over Detroit.
After going 2 of 16 in regulation, including missing a shot that would have won it, Harden warmed up in overtime. He put Houston up with a basket early in the period before making it 93-90 on a three-point play after a basket by Andre Drummond. He added three free throws with about a minute left before P.J. Tucker’s tip-in made it 98-90 with 21 seconds to play.
It was an ugly game which featured 71 missed 3-pointers combined. Houston was 12 of 51 and Detroit made just 6 of 38.
Eric Gordon added 22 points for Houston on a night Chris Paul sat out with a sore left hamstring.
Blake Griffin had 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Andre Drummond had 17 points and 20 rebounds.
76ers 118, Magic 98
ORLANDO, Fla. – Joel Embiid had 17 points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes and surging Philadelphia moved closer to a playoff berth with a victory over Orlando.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 18 points, leading six Philadelphia players in double figures as the 76ers (41-30) won their fifth straight and clinched their first non-losing season in six years. Robert Covington and Marco Belinelli added 15 points.
Rodney Purvis came off the bench to score 19 points for the Magic, who have lost eight of nine. Aaron Gordon, the only Orlando starter to score in double figures, had 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Jazz 119, Mavericks 112
DALLAS – Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points and Utah got back on the winning track by beating Dallas.
Two nights after a loss to Atlanta ended a nine-game winning streak, Utah moved into a tie with Minnesota for seventh place in the Western Conference playoff race. The Jazz have won 22 of their last 25 games.
Joe Ingles had 18 points and 10 assists, equaling his career high. Ricky Rubio scored 22 points, Derrick Favors had 19 and Rudy Gobert added 11.
J.J. Barea had a season-high 23 points for the Mavericks with 20 in the first half. Harrison Barnes added 21 points and Yogi Ferrell scored 20 in a reserve role.
Kings 105, Hawks 90
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Justin Jackson scored 11 of his season-high 20 points in the third quarter and Sacramento beat Atlanta in a game that was delayed due to protesters who were locked arm-in-arm surrounding entrances to Golden1 Center.
Jackson shot 7 of 8 and was perfect on four shots beyond the arc to help the Kings split the season series with the Hawks while avenging their worst loss of the season. Atlanta beat Sacramento 126-80 in November.
Buddy Hield and Frank Mason scored 16 points apiece, while Kosta Koufos added 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings.
A massive crowd shut down nearby freeways and gathered in the surrounding streets to protest the police shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed black man who was in the backyard of his grandparents’ house Sunday night. According to reports, Clark was shot 20 times.
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