Hornets edge Knicks on Graham’s 9th 3-pointer
NEW YORK (AP) Another night, another late 3-pointer to win for the Charlotte Hornets.
First, it was Malik Monk heaving a 26-footer to edge Detroit.
It was Devonte' Graham's turn Saturday.
Graham made his ninth 3-pointer of the game with 2.8 seconds remaining, finishing with 29 points to lead the Hornets to a 103-102 victory over the New York Knicks.
The second-year player was just 2 for 12 from long distance Friday.
''I'm real confident in my shot. Worked on it a lot this summer,'' Graham said.
''My teammates telling to keep shooting it. Just knowing that they have that confidence in me, it would be selfish of me to pass up shots when they find me wide open.''
After making a good defensive play that gave the Hornets the chance to either tie or win it, P.J. Washington, who scored 19 points, got the ball in front of the Knicks logo near midcourt with 6 seconds remaining. He made a routine bounce pass to Graham, who came in charging from the opposite half of the court.
New York's Frank Ntilikina went to switch on Washington but raced back to cover Graham as the shot was hoisted up and sank through.
''It's a play we have executed before,'' Hornets coach James Borrego said. ''You know, it's a type of play we executed in practice, we talk about and draw up and give our guys a lot of credit. In the heat of the battle they executed.''
Terry Rozier had 16 and Marvin Williams added 13 off the bench for the Hornets, who got off to another slow start before picking it up when it most mattered.
RJ Barrett scored 22 points and Mitchell Robinson had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Knicks, who were coming off a victory over Dallas on Thursday.
''You never want to lose any game, but especially when you got a solid lead. But give them credit,'' Knicks coach David Fizdale said. ''They turned up their defense on us and they really shot the heck out of that 3 ball. I mean, 17 for 48 from 3. That's pretty impressive. And obviously the last one was the backbreaker.''
Charlotte was down by 15 in the third quarter before taking the lead to start the final period on Graham's 3 for a 78-76 advantage. He then hit the final basket.
For a second Ntilikina thought it would be Monk repeating the previous night's heroics before the ball found Graham's hands.
''He was (the) hot scorer,'' Ntilikina said. ''It was expected that (they would) draw a play for him.''
Hornets: Charlotte won at Detroit on Friday on Monk's winning 3-pointer after losing at Memphis on Ja Morant's layup with 0.7 seconds left. . Graham's previous career high for 3-pointers in a game was six against Minnesota on Oct. 25.
Knicks: Marcus Morris and Bobby Portis scored 14 points apiece. . New York dropped to 1-4 at home.
COULD'VE BEEN A KNICK
Many figured Rozier to New York was a safe bet after the team missed out on signing Kyrie Irving. Instead, Charlotte signed Rozier to a three-year, $58 million deal and the Knicks settled for Elfrid Payton, who signed a two-year deal for $15 million and has not played since the fourth game of the season due to a strained right hamstring.
''For a second, I thought this was the place. I thought I was going to be a Knick,'' Rozier said.
Rozier, who spent the first four years of his career in Boston and was vocal about seeking a higher role last season, is averaging career highs of 17 points, 4.9 assists and 42 percent shooting from the field.
''Other things happened and I ended up going to Charlotte,'' he said. ''It was the interest they showed in me. That was big. The organization believed in me. Why not?''
Former Knick Willy Hernangomez wasn't too happy with the treatment the Madison Square Garden fans gave Kristaps Porzingis in his first game back in New York on Thursday.
The former first-round pick, who was traded to Dallas last January, was booed during the lineup introductions and jeered even louder each time he missed touched the ball and missed a shot.
Hernangomez, a former Knick himself who played his first NBA two seasons in New York before moving on to Charlotte, believes his close friend was deserving of a better welcoming.
''KP knows what happened and everything. The people just see what is public,'' Hernangomez said. ''But people can do whatever they want, support, boo, whatever. I just feel sad because KP is my brother and he did a lot for this city, the community, the team.''
Hornets: Continue their four-game road trip Monday at defending champion Toronto.
Knicks: Host the Cleveland Cavaliers to wrap up a three-game homestand.
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