Kemba Walker spurs desperate Hornets to win in New Orleans

Kemba Walker scored 21 of his 32 points in the final 10 minutes, and the Hornets kept alive their slim postseason hopes with a 115-109 victory over the Pelicans in New Orleans on Wednesday night.

“In those kinds of situations, I think my team is kind of looking for me to be more aggressive and make some plays,” said Walker, who made 2 of 8 shots through three quarters.

The Hornets, who came into Wednesday on a three-game skid, trailed by five in the middle of the fourth quarter when Walker’s 3 ignited a 14-6 run that put Charlotte in front for good.

“That shot in particular, I had a little space and just rose up and took a shot,” Walker recalled. “That was the shot that kind of got me going. I was struggling all night.”

The Hornets (36-42), with four games to play, sit 2 ½ games behind Orlando (39-40) for the final East playoff spot.

“Anything is possible,” Walker said. “You never know what can happen. So, we’ve got to just keep playing hard, try to win.”

Julius Randle had 34 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans, which has dropped five of six games.

Trail Blazers 116, Grizzlies 89: Evan Turner had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists off the bench for his second consecutive triple-double and host Portland reached 50 wins.

Jazz 118, Suns 97: Donovan Mitchell scored 29 points, leading visiting Utah over Phoenix, which lost leading scorer Devin Booker with 4:28 left in the first quarter when he landed awkwardly on his left ankle while jumping to receive a pass. Booker sprained his left ankle and left the game with eight points.

Rockets 135, Clippers 103: James Harden scored 31 points, Chris Paul added 29 points, and visiting Houston routed Los Angeles in a potential playoff preview. The Clippers had won 13 of 15 coming into Wednesday.

Hawks 130, 76ers 122: Trae Young had 33 points and 12 assists, John Collins added 25 points, and host Atlanta handed playoff-bound Philadelphia its second straight loss.

T’wolves 110, Mavericks 108: Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points and 13 rebounds, Andrew Wiggins hit the go-ahead bucket in the final minute and visiting Minnesota turned back a fourth-quarter rally by Dallas.

Nuggets 113, Spurs 85: Nikola Jokic had 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine of host Denver’s season-high 41 assists in a game in which San Antonio head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected after 63 seconds.

Bulls 115, Wizards 114: Walt Lemon Jr. scored a career-high 24 points, including two free throws with 1.8 seconds to play, to help visiting Chicago snap a five-game slide.

Pacers 108, Pistons 89: Thaddeus Young scored 21 points, and visiting Indiana beat Detroit. The Pistons’ Blake Griffin missed a third straight game with left knee soreness.

Celtics 112, Heat 102: Gordon Hayward scored 25 points, Kyrie Irving added 23 and visiting Boston pulled away in the final minutes.

Raptors 115, Nets 105: Pascal Siakam had 28 points and 10 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 26 points and nine boards and visiting Toronto won its fifth straight game.

Magic 114, Knicks 100: Nikola Vucevic had 29 points and 13 rebounds, and reserve Terrence Ross scored 23 points for host Orlando.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Kemba-Walker-spurs-desperate-Hornets-to-win-in-13740358.php.

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