The Charlotte Hornets blew a 14-point lead, allowing the New Orleans Pelicans to reach overtime and take home this game 121-116 at Smoothie King Center.
The Hornets fell to 8-4, despite point guard Kemba Walker’s 11th consecutive game of 20 or more points. Walker finished with 25 points. Reserve Marco Belinelli added 22.
Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 38 points and 15 rebounds. He made a 19-foot pull-up with 1 minute, 35 seconds left, then a layup with 47 seconds left for a four-point lead.
The Hornets led by two in the final minute of regulation when Walker missed a 3-pointer and the ball bounced out-of-bounds. Davis tied the game at 108-108 with 18 seconds left on a put-back layup.
Walker missed a 17-foot jump shot and the game went to overtime after the Pelicans failed to complete a pass to the rim with two-tenths of a second left.
Three who mattered
Anthony Davis: He plays like an MVP candidate, but he’s not surrounded with much talent this season.
Kemba Walker: His third quarter made up for a slow start in the first half.
Marco Belinelli: His best game so far as a Hornet. He made seven of his first eight 3-point attempts and chipped in rebounds and assists.
▪ The Hornets played without center Cody Zeller, who injured his right shoulder in Friday’s victory over the Atlanta Hawks. Roy Hibbert started in place of Zeller, who is scheduled to have an MRI on his shoulder Sunday in Charlotte.
▪ While Hibbert started, coach Steve Clifford planned to play him no more than about 16 minutes Saturday. Hibbert missed considerable time with a sore knee and is still recovering his game conditioning. Spencer Hawes was the other primary option at center.
▪ The Hornets also played without Jeremy Lamb (hamstring) and Treveon Graham (Achilles strain). The Hornets hoped to have Lamb back for this weekend, but he had enough soreness in his hamstring Thursday that he couldn’t practice.
▪ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist appears to have that role of starter on the floor with reserves to help keep the second unit organized. Nic Batum did that much of last season.
▪ Nic Batum made a spectacular third-quarter play, a bounce pass through the legs of Pelicans center Omer Asik for a Kemba Walker layup.
▪ The Hornets entered this game with the best second-half point differential in the NBA, a +7.5. The Los Angeles Lakers were a distant second at +4.7 points.
▪ Anthony Davis was the only player from either team to reach double-figures scoring by halftime.
▪ While point guard Jrue Holiday is back with the Pelicans, coach Alvin Gentry continues to start former Development League MVP Tim Frazier at that position.
B+ OFFENSE: A bundle of 3-pointers made, but the Hornets had too many turnovers, particularly on the road.
B DEFENSE: They gave up plenty of 3-pointers and never figured a counter-measure for Davis.
B COACHING: Steve Clifford emphasized post-game Friday that good teams validate wins by taking second of back-to-back games.
Rick Bonnell: 704-358-5129, @rick_bonnell