Kemba leads Charlotte past Atlanta, 113-102
By Richard Walker
CHARLOTTE (AP) — Kemba Walker had 29 points and seven assists, extending his strong start to the season as the Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-102 on Tuesday night.
Marvin Williams added 20 points for the Hornets (6-5), who won for the third time on a four-game homestand. Walker has scored 25 or more seven times in 11 games.
Jeremy Lamb and Malik Monk each had 13 points for Charlotte. Nic Batum scored 10.
Playing against his former team, Jeremy Lin had 19 points off the bench to lead the Hawks (3-7), who led by seven late in the first half.
The young Hawks started 2018 first-round draft picks Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Omari Spellman for the first time this season and pushed Charlotte before losing for the eighth time in the last nine meetings.
Young finished with 18 points and 10 assists. Kent Bazemore added 16 points.
Even after falling behind 81-77 entering the fourth quarter, the Hawks forged an 84-83 advantage with 10:04 to play before the Hornets went on a 19-4 surge to give them a comfortable lead down the stretch.
Charlotte eventually led by as many as 15.
Neither team led by more than seven until the fourth quarter. Atlanta was up 54-51 at halftime.
Hawks: Count first-year Atlanta coach Lloyd Pierce among those who consider Walker one of the NBA’s top players. “I’m a huge fan of Kemba. I’ve known Kemba for a long time. You’re seeing a confident and elite scorer,” he said. Pierce first met Walker at Nike Elite camps years ago and in August 2017 was a part of the NBA Africa trip with the Hornets’ two-time All-Star guard.
Hornets: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist dislocated his right pinkie in the first half but returned to play in the second. … Charlotte coach James Borrego thinks the 20-year-old Young fits the league perfectly. “He fits today’s NBA for sure. The minute he crosses halfcourt, he’s a threat. He’s a guy that can play-make, get to the rim, pass, finish, shoot the ball. The Hawks have a very good point guard for years to come,” Borrego said.
Hawks: Host the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
Hornets: At the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.