Court Vision: Hornets Win Despite Poor Shooting
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte scores 12 in OT to get the 80-71 win over Indiana.
1. INJURY COULD KEEP WALKER OUT FOR EXTENDED PERIOD
Charlotte point guard Kemba Walker has a cyst on his left knee and it’s something that could keep him out of the lineup for a while … or maybe not.
At this moment, it’s unclear just how many games Walker, who is averaging 29.8 points per game in his last six outings, will be out because of the cyst.
"It definitely could linger," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "I think it’s one of those things where it’s the ultimate day-to-day. It’s something that he’s had for a while. From what I understand, he can come in tomorrow and be fine or it could be longer.
"I don’t think there is any real way to determine that."
In Walker’s place, Brian Roberts, normally a reserve, will get the start. If Walker’s injury wasn’t enough, third-string point guard Jannero Pargo is also out.
As a result, Lance Stephenson, who is a shooting guard and just returning from injury himself, could see minutes at point guard, though it will likely be Gary Neal, who is also a shooting guard during Walker’s absence.
"Lance can do it, too," Clifford said. "But Gary is much more comfortable in that organizational type role."
2. HORNETS SHOOT WORST EVER IN A WIN
Amazingly enough, the Hornets (16-25) shot just 31 percent from the field, including 2-for-15 from 3-point range, and somehow managed to pull out the 80-71 overtime win against Indiana (15-27).
It’s the worst shooting percentage ever for a win in Charlotte NBA history. It’s also the ninth-worst shooting performance in a win in NBA history.
"That won’t be on any ESPN Classics, or anything," Clifford said jokingly.
During the overtime segment, the Hornets finally found a shooting touch while Indiana went scoreless for the first 4:30.
It was just as bad for both teams — in the second half and overtime, Indiana managed just 11 field goals while the Hornets had a robust 15 field goals.
The two teams combined to go 4-for-36 from long range.
Charlotte had the final possession of regulation with the game tied at 68-68, and with four seconds left, guard Gerald Henderson drove to his right and pulled up for a fade-away 18-foot jump shot over Pacers center Roy Hibbert, but it rimmed out and the game went into overtime.
Earlier, the Hornets took the lead with 51.3 seconds left after forward Marvin Williams made the team’s second 3-pointer from the top of the key after a drive-and-dish from Henderson.
The only reason the Hornets even were in the game is because Indiana committed 20 turnovers and also shot poorly.
3. STEPHENSON TRYING TO BLOCK OUT TRADE RUMORS
For the second time in less than a month, Stephenson has been the subject of trade rumors, though he’s trying to do his best to ignore all the speculation.
"They know I want to be here," Stephenson told FoxSports.com when asked if he or his agent have spoken to the front office of the Hornets about his desire to remain in Charlotte. "But it’s not really up to me. It just motivates me.
"I think everybody needs to be patient with me. I’m coming around."
Earlier in the week, Stephenson was reportedly part of a three-team deal that would’ve sent him to Brooklyn. However, the deal fell through because it was reported that the Nets weren’t interested in acquiring him.
Stephenson has had a difficult time fitting in with the Hornets and it’s showed in his offense as he’s shooting just 38.6 percent from the field, including an unspeakable 15.1 percent from 3-point range.
A month ago, there was speculation that he may be traded back to the Pacers, where he flourished. However, that obviously didn’t happen. But at the time, Stephenson, 24, said he was liked being in Charlotte.
"I’m happy where I’m at," he said. "Right now, I just want to win and help my teammates win. I’m here right now and that’s all that matters."
Clifford said he hasn’t noticed the rumors being a distraction to Stephenson or any of his teammates.
"If you see it become a distraction, you go and talk to the players," he said. "I didn’t sense that with our guys at all. … We had a good practice (Friday) and a good shoot-around today, so I don’t see any issues with that."
12-11 — The Hornets scored more points in overtime (12) than Indiana did in the third quarter (11).
4 — The number of Indiana players with at least three turnovers.
"When you can score 13 in a quarter and go up two, you’ve done well," Clifford said with a smile about the third quarter.
Follow Brett Jensen on Twitter @Brett_Jensen