KEMBA Walker led a late surge to lift the Charlotte Hornets from an early fourth quarter deficit and hang on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 109-104, on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time) at the Staples Center.
Walker scored 30 points, including seven straight to start a 12-5 rally down the stretch as the Hornets clawed back from a six-point deficit, 88-82, near the halfway point of the fourth quarter. He also sealed the comeback with four straight free throws to hold off the Lakers and deal the home team their fifth straight loss.
Charlotte led by 10 early in the second quarter but saw the Lakers charge back and take the lead with a 12-6 run bridging the third and fourth periods. Marco Belinelli and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist kept the Hornets close before Walker took over in the final three minutes.
Five players for the Hornets (26-34) scored in double figures, led by Walker. Frank Kaminsky had a double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Marvin Williams chipped in 16 markers. Belinelli and Kidd-Gilchrist scored 11 and 10, respectively.
Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell each had 23 points to lead the Lakers, who fell to 19-42. Jordan Clarkson scored 16 off the bench, while Nick Young sank five treys to finish with 15 points.