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Walker leads Hornets past Pelicans 115-109

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Kemba Walker wasn't about to succumb to the notion that he might be having an off night and start passing up shots - not with the Hornets trailing in the fourth quarter and trying to stay in the race for a playoff spot.

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

''I think it just comes naturally; 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 just two of eight shots through the first three quarters.

The Hornets, who came in 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.''

Walker - who also poured in 38 second-half points two nights earlier in a loss at Utah - quickly added a pair of driving layups and a second 3 during the decisive spurt in New Orleans.

''It is more his will and his comfort just to live in those moments,'' Hornets coach James Borrego said. ''His ability to stay poised, take big shots, and make big shots and make big plays ... very few guys can do that. He is very comfortable in those moments.''

Frank Kaminsky added 21 points and rookie Devonte Graham scored a career-high 13 points for the Hornets (36-42), who, with four games to play, sit 2 1/2 games behind Orlando (39-40) for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

''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.

Ian Clark and Stanley Johnson each added 17 points for the Pelicans, who looked primed to push the Hornets to the brink of elimination when they surged into the lead with a 15-3 run in the fourth quarter.

Recently acquired Latvian guard Dairis Bertans hit two 3s during that spurt and a dunk by recently acquired center Christian Wood put New Orleans up 93-88.

That's when Walker's first 3 of the game, with 6:18 left, ignited Charlotte's decisive surge. Walker then scored 16 more points inside the final 5:33 to keep the Pelicans at bay.

''You have to give Kemba credit,'' Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. ''He made tough shots and (had) guys in his face on step-back shots.''

TIP-INS

Hornets: Marvin Williams sat out with a right foot injury. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist started in his place - just his second start this season. He had five points and five rebounds in 20 minutes. ... Jeremy Lamb scored 12 points in 30 minutes off the bench. ... Walker has 26 30-point games this season.

Pelicans: All-Star Anthony Davis missed his fourth straight game with back spasms. ... The club paused between the first and second quarters to honor David ''Big Shot'' Jovanovic for his 30 years as the equipment manager for the franchise, beginning with the original Charlotte Hornets and through the club's move to New Orleans and its renaming as the Pelicans. The ceremony included pre-recorded messages from former Hornets players Dell Curry and David Wesley, and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson presented Jovanovic with a gold basketball. ... Randle has scored 30 or more 10 times this season, his first in New Orleans.

GRAHAM'S GAINS

Graham, a 2018 second-round draft choice out of Kansas, matched his previous career high of 11 points Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers before scoring all 13 of his points in New Orleans during a 9 minute span in the second quarter, when he hit three of four 3-point shots.

''It was great,'' Kaminsky said. ''He's making big steps, a young guy trying prove himself. He's doing all the right things. It's great to play with someone like him who can score, who can facilitate, always makes the right plays.''

UP NEXT

Hornets: Host Toronto on Friday night.

Pelicans: Visit Phoenix on Friday night.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:43 +2 Miles Bridges made layup 2-0
11:25   Elfrid Payton missed fade-away jump shot  
11:17   Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed layup, blocked by Jahlil Okafor  
11:13   Defensive rebound by Elfrid Payton  
11:09 +2 Julius Randle made layup, assist by Ian Clark 2-2
10:53 +3 Dwayne Bacon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Miles Bridges 5-2
10:31   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
10:16 +2 Julius Randle made jump shot, assist by Elfrid Payton 5-4
9:59   Dwayne Bacon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:56   Defensive rebound by Jahlil Okafor  
9:45   Julius Randle missed jump shot  
9:42   Offensive rebound by Kenrich Williams  
9:32 +2 Jahlil Okafor made hook shot 5-6
9:20 +2 Kemba Walker made driving layup 7-6
9:06   Kenrich Williams missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:56   Michael Kidd-Gilchrist missed layup, blocked by Jahlil Okafor  
8:53   Defensive rebound by Jahlil Okafor  
8:48   Defensive rebound by Miles Bridges  
8:39   Dwayne Bacon missed driving layup  
8:39   Personal foul on Jahlil Okafor  
8:29   Defensive rebound by Jahlil Okafor  
8:07 +3 Kenrich Williams made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Elfrid Payton 7-9
7:42   Ian Clark missed layup, blocked by Dwayne Bacon  
7:38   Offensive rebound by Kenrich Williams  
7:35   Bad pass turnover on Kenrich Williams, stolen by Bismack Biyombo  
7:31 +2 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made dunk, assist by Kemba Walker 9-9
7:19 +2 Jahlil Okafor made dunk 9-11
7:01   Shooting foul on Kenrich Williams  
7:01 +1 Miles Bridges made 1st of 2 free throws 10-11
7:01 +1 Miles Bridges made 2nd of 2 free throws 11-11
6:54   Shooting foul on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist  
6:54 +1 Julius Randle made 1st of 2 free throws 11-12
6:54 +1 Julius Randle made 2nd of 2 free throws 11-13
6:38   Bad pass turnover on Miles Bridges, stolen by Kenrich Williams  
6:33   Lost ball turnover on Jahlil Okafor, stolen by Kemba Walker  
6:30   Out of bounds turnover on Kemba Walker  
6:10   Defensive rebound by Bismack Biyombo  
6:05   Violation  
6:01   Jeremy Lamb missed layup  
5:55   Defensive rebound by Kenrich Williams  
5:42   Kemba Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:33   Offensive rebound by Miles Bridges  
5:33 +2 Miles Bridges made dunk 13-13
5:26 +3 Julius Randle made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kenrich Williams 13-16
5:11 +2 Kemba Walker made jump shot 15-16
4:54   Defensive rebound by Willy Hernangomez  
4:49   Personal foul on Jahlil Okafor  
4:44   Frank Kaminsky missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:40   Defensive rebound by Kenrich Williams  
4:30   Julius Randle missed turnaround jump shot  
4:28   Defensive rebound by Willy Hernangomez  
4:12   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
4:02   Offensive rebound by Cheick Diallo  
3:52   Traveling violation turnover  
3:43   Shooting foul on Ian Clark  
3:43 +1 Kemba Walker made 1st of 3 free throws 16-16
3:43 +1 Kemba Walker made 2nd of 3 free throws 17-16
3:43 +1 Kemba Walker made 3rd of 3 free throws 18-16
3:29 +2 Christian Wood made jump shot, assist by Cheick Diallo 18-18
3:03   Malik Monk missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:01   Defensive rebound by Christian Wood  
2:38   Willy Hernangomez missed layup  
2:22   Jeremy Lamb missed jump shot  
2:03 +3 Solomon Hill made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Cheick Diallo 20-21
1:50   Personal foul on Cheick Diallo  
1:50 +1 Kemba Walker made 1st of 2 free throws 21-21
1:41   Dairis Bertans missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:38   Defensive rebound by Willy Hernangomez  
1:29   Defensive rebound by Cheick Diallo  
1:19   Lost ball turnover on Christian Wood, stolen by Frank Kaminsky  
1:14 +2 Malik Monk made layup, assist by Kemba Walker 24-21
0:59   Solomon Hill missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:55   Defensive rebound by Malik Monk  
0:47   Frank Kaminsky missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:43   Defensive rebound by Dairis Bertans  
0:38   Bad pass turnover on Solomon Hill, stolen by Willy Hernangomez  
0:27   Kemba Walker missed driving layup  
0:25   Defensive rebound by Christian Wood  
0:18   Stanley Johnson missed jump shot  
0:15   Defensive rebound by Kemba Walker  
0:00   Kemba Walker missed fade-away jump shot  
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:53   Shooting foul on Willy Hernangomez  
11:53 +1 Stanley Johnson made 1st of 2 free throws 24-22
11:53 +1 Stanley Johnson made 2nd of 2 free throws 24-23
11:32   Defensive rebound by Christian Wood  
11:21   Lost ball turnover on Christian Wood, stolen by Willy Hernangomez  
11:08   Frank Kaminsky missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:04   Defensive rebound by Christian Wood  
10:54   Christian Wood missed layup, blocked by Frank Kaminsky  
10:51   Offensive rebound by Solomon Hill  
10:48 +3 Stanley Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Solomon Hill 24-26
10:40 +2 Jeremy Lamb made jump shot, assist by Devonte' Graham 26-26
10:23   Dairis Bertans missed jump shot, blocked by Malik Monk  
10:21   Defensive rebound by Devonte' Graham  
10:14   Shooting foul on Solomon Hill  
10:14 +1 Frank Kaminsky made free throw 29-26
9:57 +2 Stanley Johnson made jump shot 29-28
9:43   Lost ball turnover on Jeremy Lamb, stolen by Stanley Johnson  
9:32 +3 Solomon Hill made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Christian Wood 29-31
9:15 +3 Devonte' Graham made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Jeremy Lamb 32-31
9:05 +2 Stanley Johnson made driving layup 32-33
9:05   Shooting foul on Malik Monk  
9:05 +1 Stanley Johnson made free throw 32-34
8:51 +2 Jeremy Lamb made driving layup, assist by Miles Bridges 34-34
8:51   Shooting foul on Christian Wood  
8:51 +1 Jeremy Lamb made free throw 35-34
8:33 +3 Stanley Johnson made 3-pt. jump shot 35-37
8:10   Out of bounds turnover on Devonte' Graham  
7:53   Christian Wood missed turnaround jump shot  
7:51   Defensive rebound by Frank Kaminsky  
7:47 +2 Malik Monk made alley-oop shot, assist by Devonte' Graham 37-37
7:26   Defensive rebound by Frank Kaminsky  
7:21 +3 Devonte' Graham made 3-pt. jump shot 40-37
7:07   Bad pass turnover on Stanley Johnson, stolen by Jeremy Lamb  
7:02 +2 Jeremy Lamb made floating jump shot 42-37
6:35   Julius Randle missed jump shot  
6:29   Malik Monk missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:25   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
6:20   Offensive foul on Jahlil Okafor  
6:20   Offensive foul on Jahlil Okafor  
6:00   Frank Kaminsky missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:56   Defensive rebound by Ian Clark  
5:43 +3 Kenrich Williams made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Elfrid Payton 42-40
5:29 +3 Devonte' Graham made 3-pt. jump shot 45-40
5:08 +3 Ian Clark made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Julius Randle 45-43
4:54 +2 Devonte' Graham made floating jump shot 47-43
4:42   Shooting foul on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist  
4:42 +1 Julius Randle made 1st of 2 free throws 47-44
4:42 +1 Julius Randle made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-45
4:23   Shooting foul on Julius Randle  
4:23 +1 Devonte' Graham made 1st of 2 free throws 48-45
4:23 +1 Devonte' Graham made 2nd of 2 free throws 49-45
4:15   Offensive foul on Julius Randle  
4:15   Offensive foul on Julius Randle  
3:57   Personal foul on Miles Bridges  
3:45 +2 Julius Randle made jump shot 49-47
3:20   Devonte' Graham missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:09 +2 Cheick Diallo made layup 49-49
2:51   Personal foul on Cheick Diallo  
2:45 +2 Bismack Biyombo made dunk, assist by Kemba Walker 51-49
2:45 +1 Bismack Biyombo made free throw 52-49
2:24   Bismack Biyombo missed layup  
2:22   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
2:01 +2 Ian Clark made floating jump shot 52-51
1:46   Shooting foul on Cheick Diallo  
1:46 +1 Kemba Walker made 1st of 2 free throws 53-51
1:46 +1 Kemba Walker made 2nd of 2 free throws 54-51
1:14   Defensive rebound by Bismack Biyombo  
0:52   Offensive rebound by Bismack Biyombo  
0:52 +2 Bismack Biyombo made dunk 56-51
0:43   Christian Wood missed driving layup  
0:43   NO team rebound  
0:43   Personal foul on Jeremy Lamb  
0:43 +1 Christian Wood made 1st of 2 free throws 56-52
0:43   Christian Wood missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
0:35   Defensive rebound by Miles Bridges  
0:32   Kemba Walker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:30   Defensive rebound by Ian Clark  
0:26 +2 Julius Randle made driving layup, assist by Ian Clark 56-54
0:26   Shooting foul on Bismack Biyombo  
0:26 +1 Julius Randle made free throw 56-55
0:03 +3 Malik Monk made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kemba Walker 59-55
0:00   End of period  

3rd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:40   Bad pass turnover on Julius Randle, stolen by Kemba Walker  
11:22   Jumpball  
11:22   Bad pass turnover on Dwayne Bacon, stolen by Kenrich Williams  
11:12   Elfrid Payton missed floating jump shot  
11:07   Bad pass turnover on Kemba Walker, stolen by Elfrid Payton  
11:02 +2 Elfrid Payton made dunk, assist by Ian Clark 59-57
10:46   Miles Bridges missed floating jump shot  
10:46   Defensive rebound by Jahlil Okafor  
10:30 +3 Dwayne Bacon made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist 62-57
10:17   Personal foul on Bismack Biyombo  
10:04   Ian Clark missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:00   Defensive rebound by Dwayne Bacon  
9:54   Miles Bridges missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:50   Defensive rebound by Jahlil Okafor  
9:36   Julius Randle missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:33   Defensive rebound by Kemba Walker  
9:28   Kemba Walker missed floating jump shot  
9:25   Defensive rebound by Ian Clark  
9:20 +3 Ian Clark made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Elfrid Payton 62-60
8:59 +2 Dwayne Bacon made driving dunk 64-60
8:41   Elfrid Payton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:34   NO team rebound  
8:27   Shooting foul on Michael Kidd-Gilchrist  
8:27 +1 Jahlil Okafor made 1st of 2 free throws 64-61
8:27 +1 Jahlil Okafor made 2nd of 2 free throws 64-62
8:17   Dwayne Bacon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
8:14   Defensive rebound by Elfrid Payton  
8:03 +2 Julius Randle made driving layup 64-64
7:37 +3 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kemba Walker 67-64
7:22   Violation  
7:17   Ian Clark missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:52   Offensive rebound by Bismack Biyombo  
6:52   Bismack Biyombo missed dunk  
6:52   Offensive rebound by Bismack Biyombo  
6:46   Bismack Biyombo missed dunk, blocked by Kenrich Williams  
6:46   Defensive rebound by Ian Clark  
6:33 +3 Ian Clark made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Kenrich Williams 67-67
6:12   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
5:54 +3 Kenrich Williams made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Elfrid Payton 67-70
5:44   Bad pass turnover on Bismack Biyombo, stolen by Julius Randle  
5:11   Bismack Biyombo missed hook shot  
5:09   Defensive rebound by Jahlil Okafor  
4:47   Jahlil Okafor missed fade-away jump shot  
4:44   Defensive rebound by Dwayne Bacon  
4:37 +2 Bismack Biyombo made alley-oop shot, assist by Frank Kaminsky 69-72
4:17 +2 Julius Randle made fade-away jump shot 69-74
3:48   Elfrid Payton missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:30   Frank Kaminsky missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:29   Personal foul on Kenrich Williams  
3:17   Defensive rebound by Solomon Hill  
3:13 +2 Ian Clark made layup, assist by Julius Randle 72-76
2:56 +2 Frank Kaminsky made turnaround jump shot 74-76
2:56   Shooting foul on Cheick Diallo  
2:56   Frank Kaminsky missed free throw  
2:53   Defensive rebound by Ian Clark  
2:11   Devonte' Graham missed jump shot  
2:09   Defensive rebound by Christian Wood  
2:01 +2 Ian Clark made finger-roll layup 74-78
1:48 +1 Frank Kaminsky made 1st of 2 free throws 75-78
1:48   Frank Kaminsky missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
1:45   Offensive rebound by Willy Hernangomez  
1:40   Defensive rebound by Julius Randle  
1:35   Out of bounds turnover on Christian Wood  
1:26 +2 Jeremy Lamb made jump shot, assist by Devonte' Graham 77-78
1:00   Frank Kaminsky missed layup  
0:55   Offensive rebound by Willy Hernangomez  
0:55   Willy Hernangomez missed dunk  
0:55   Defensive rebound by Christian Wood  
0:55   Offensive foul on Christian Wood  
0:44 +1 Frank Kaminsky made free throw 80-78
0:06   Personal foul on Miles Bridges  
0:02   Stanley Johnson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:02   Defensive rebound by Willy Hernangomez  
0:00   End of period  

4th Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:39 +2 Miles Bridges made layup, assist by Devonte' Graham 85-78
11:27   Lost ball turnover on Christian Wood, stolen by Devonte' Graham  
11:23   Out of bounds turnover on Devonte' Graham  
10:59   Shooting foul on Frank Kaminsky  
10:59   Christian Wood missed 1st of 2 free throws  
10:59 +1 Christian Wood made 2nd of 2 free throws 85-79
10:46   Personal foul on Stanley Johnson  
10:38