Hornets Sink Sinking Knicks, 103-102

first_imgCHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kemba Walker didn’t know whether to celebrate or breathe a sigh of relief. So he did a little of both.Walker’s driving left-handed layup as time expired lifted Charlotte to a 103-102 win Dec. 5 over the New York Knicks, snapping the Hornets’ 10-game losing streak.Walker finished with 11 points on 4-of-15 shooting, but his second game-winner of the season saved the Hornets the embarrassment of squandering a 20-point lead for the third time.“We needed the win,” coach Steve Clifford said. “It’s been three weeks since we won — and we won the most close games in the league last year.”The Hornets haven’t had that same success this season. “Hopefully we can build off this,” Walker said.Walker received a half-court inbounds pass with 4 seconds left around the top of the key, faked to the right and blew past Pablo Prigioni, finding an open crease down the left side of the lane.The right-handed Walker put the ball up with his left hand over Amare Stoudemire and off the glass for the winner, sending the Knicks to their seventh straight loss.“I didn’t have much time and I knew I had to get to the basket in a hurry,” Walker said.Walker said he thought Prigioni was overplaying the screen, leading to “an open lane” to the basket. With a foul to give, Prigioni reached for Walker’s jersey, but couldn’t grab him.“We probably could have kept the ball in front of us a little better,” Knicks coach Derek Fisher said.It was the second heartbreaking defeat for the Knicks in two nights. They lost 90-87 at home to LeBron James and the Cavaliers on Dec. 4.“A loss is a loss and you never feel good about a loss,” Anthony said. “To come back down 20 and to take the lead by one and have 4 seconds to go, I don’t think you can ask for more than that. Kemba made a great play at the end and I take my hat off to him.”The Knicks were outrebounded 41-34 and fell behind 80-60 late in the third quarter. “Once (the deficit) was so bad we didn’t have any choice but to compete,” Fisher said. “It is good they showed that, but it was too late.”Gerald Henderson scored a season-high 22 points and Al Jefferson had 16 points and 13 rebounds for the Hornets.The Knicks stormed back from 20 down late in the third quarter behind 32 points from Carmelo Anthony to take the lead with less than a minute left. But Anthony missed a mid-range jumper and the Hornets grabbed the rebound to set up the winning shot.The Hornets (5-15) led 80-60 near the end of the third after holding Anthony to two points on 1-of-4 shooting in the quarter.That changed in a hurry. Anthony scored 15 points in the fourth period, including back-to-back 3-pointers — one that gave the Knicks a one-point lead with 47 seconds left.Charlotte extended its lead to 20 in the third quarter after Henderson started heating up and Jefferson took control in the low post with a series of old-school, up-and-under moves that Stoudemire struggled to defend.J.R. Smith had 14 points for the struggling Knicks (4-17).(STEVE REED, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

Streaking Mets Spear Marlins, 5-1

first_imgMIAMI — A couple of the New York Mets’ biggest hits came from unexpected sources on the night of Aug. 4.Eric Campbell’s tiebreaking pinch single and Juan Lagares’ two-run triple highlighted a four-run eighth inning that helped send the Mets to a 5-1 win over the Miami Marlins.“Our offense is pretty exciting,” Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese said. “At any given time during the game they can explode. It’s a great feeling.”Niese (6-9) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings for the NL East-leading Mets, who won their fifth consecutive game as they erased an early deficit.“There’s no sense of panic. There’s no sense of urgency,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “We hit the ball good early. They felt like they were going to get some chances to score, and the veteran leadership in the dugout, they were just going to continue to plug away and we did.”Relievers Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia combined to pitch two scoreless innings to end the game.Lucas Duda drove a ball over right fielder Cole Gillespie for a single leading off the eighth against Mike Dunn (1-5) and Travis d’Arnaud followed with a base hit. Campbell, a .181 hitter batting for Niese, poked a soft line drive into shallow left field over the outstretched glove of shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.“I thought I either hit well enough or not well enough where it would drop in there,” Campbell said.Lagares, batting in the 9 hole, tripled to make it 4-1 and scored on Curtis Granderson’s double.“I think it was a huge hit for (Lagares),” Collins said. “I know he’s down a little bit because he’s not playing, and I understand it. I totally get it and as we all know there’s one way to get back in the lineup, and that’s do what he did tonight.”The Marlins have lost six of seven.“We had some chances” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. “Again, little frustrating to see a close game. These are the type of games we’re going to have to win and when it slips away it’s frustrating. (The Mets) right now, they’re on a playoff run. They have a lot of momentum going their way. But when you stay right there cheek-to-cheek with them and let it get away it’s definitely frustrating.”Dee Gordon’s RBI single in the third ended Niese’s scoreless inning streak at 18. “(Niese) has been very, very good and again tonight,” Collins said. “An outstanding outing.”Miami starter Brad Hand pitched four scoreless innings before leaving after 84 pitches with a 1-0 lead.“I threw like 41 pitches through the first four outs,” Hand said. “That’s never good when you have a short pitch count. I was able to battle and get through four.”Ruben Tejada singled off Adam Conley to drive in Wilmer Flores, who scored from second by beating Gillespie’s throw as he slid his left hand underneath catcher J.T. Realmuto’s tag.“I was telling him where to slide, he better have scored,” Niese said. “It was good. It was a heck of a slide. He hustled all the way through and it was a great hit by Ruben as well.”(CHRISTOPHER STOCK)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more