Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets top New York Knicks, 95-93, as buzzer-beater nullified

Charlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum (5) is fouled by New York Knicks' Arron Afflalo (4) during the first half of Wednesday’s game in Charlotte.
Charlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum (5) is fouled by New York Knicks' Arron Afflalo (4) during the first half of Wednesday’s game in Charlotte. AP

Redemption time for Cody Zeller.

Seconds earlier he had missed both free throws off an ill-timed foul by New York Knicks forward Lance Thomas in a tie game. Then the Knicks were called for a shot-clock violation and the Hornets ended up in-bounding the ball under the basket. Zeller flashed to the basket and laid in Spencer Hawes’ pass for the go-ahead basket, a 95-93 lead.

But this game wasn’t over. The referees ruled there were six-tenths of a second left. Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis seemingly swished the winning 3-pointer, but a review by the officials showed Porzingis didn’t get the shot off before the final horn sounded.

The Hornets won their second game in a row, evening their record at 4-4. The Knicks fell to 4-5.

[Box score: Knicks versus Hornets.]

Three who mattered

Jeremy Lin: Some fancy passes, some fancy shots and a lot of second-half ball-hawking in a 17-point night.

Nic Batum: He sometimes seems reluctant to shoot. Not Wednesday when he scored a season-high 24 points.

Carmelo Anthony: He had a superstar third quarter with 13 points off 6-of-7 shooting from the field.

Observations

▪  Tuesday’s road victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves started a span of seven games in 11 nights for the Hornets. But there is a saving grace; the Hornets don’t play a road game from Nov. 18 through Dec. 4.

▪  Jeremy Lamb shot spectacularly his first six games as a Hornet (58.6 percent from field and 45.5% from 3-point range), but here’s an outlier: He entered the Knicks game 0-of-3 from the foul line.

▪  Marvin Williams has as many games of 10 or more rebounds this season (5) as he had all last season.

▪  Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis is good now with the potential to be terrific eventually. He long, a terrific leaper and you have to take him seriously outside the 3-point line.

▪  Arron Afflalo was a good free-agent signing by the Knicks over the summer. The Hornets had interest in him over the past two years.

Worth mentioning

▪  Rookie Frank Kaminsky got 10 minutes in the first half Wednesday, more sustained minutes than he’s gotten of late.

▪  This is two games in a row when center Al Jefferson did little to impact the game’s outcome.

▪  The Hornets demonstrated a real knack for creating shooting fouls in the preseason. They were productive in that regard in the first half, going to the line 17 times

Report card

B OFFENSE: They were solid from 3-point range and got to the foul line a bunch, which is going to be their formula this season.

B DEFENSE: They didn’t give Anthony many uncontested shots and the only other Knick that really worries you right now is Arron Affalo.

B COACHING: Steve Clifford demonstrated once again he’s not so wedded to Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker he won’t sit them on a bad night.

Bonnell: 704-358-5129; Twitter: @rick_bonnell

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