Walker, Hornets keep rolling, Knicks keep reeling, drop 15th straight
Kemba Walker added to the best stretch of his career with 28 more points, and the streaky Charlotte Hornets extended the New York Knicks’ losing streak to 15 games with a 110-82 rout on Saturday.
Charlotte won its fifth in a row and did it so easily that Walker played only three quarters. That was still enough for him to surpass 25 points for the fifth straight time.
Bismack Biyombo added 14 points, tying a career high, and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, the latest team to enjoy a laugher at the expense of the NBA’s worst team — and maybe the worst Knicks team ever.
The Knicks fell to 5-35 with their 25th loss in 26 games. Quincy Acy led them with 18 points.
New York reaches the midway point of its schedule Thursday when it plays Milwaukee in London. The Knicks are on their longest single-season skid ever and free-falling toward their worst finish, which is 23-59 in the 82-game schedule.
Amazingly, New York was 2-1 after beating Charlotte here on Nov. 2. Now the Knicks could be headed toward more NBA infamy, as they are on pace to finish with fewer than 15 wins, which is the least in an 82-game schedule for a team that was above .500 at any point during the season, according to STATS.
President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson took the blame before the game, though said he was doing what’s best for the franchise’s future.
"We hope we’re on the right track, even though this isn’t the track we anticipated," Jackson said.
The Hornets are on the right track, though they haven’t stayed on the same one for long this season. They lost four in a row last month, then won four, then lost five straight before this win streak, their longest of the season.
They averaged 100.8 points during the previous four games and were already at 89 after three quarters of this one, when they led by 45.
Hornets: Walker had 30 or more in the first three games of his streak before scoring 29 in a victory at Toronto on Thursday. … Cody Zeller (right shoulder strain) and P.J. Hairston (illness) both returned after missing the previous game. Hairston scored 15 points.
Knicks: Rookie Cleanthony Early made his first start. He shot 2 of 9 for six points. … New York signed Lance Thomas and Lou Amundson to 10-day contracts earlier Saturday. Both players had previously been waived after they were acquired earlier this week in the three-team trade that sent J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to Cleveland.
Hornets: Host San Antonio on Wednesday.
Knicks: Against Milwaukee in London on Thursday.