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New York Knicks v Charlotte Hornets

Source: Jared C. Tilton / Getty

For the 35th time this season, the Hornets took to the basketball court, and fell short of their ultimate goal, losing tonight to the Knicks 113-92, to drop their third straight game at home, and their fourth overall. New York, who is in the process of learning to play without Julius Randle, held just a 5-point lead at the half, as both offenses came out sluggish, producing a 46-41 halftime score. Charlotte is among the worst third-quarter teams in the NBA, and that reared its ugly head again tonight, as the visitors outscored them 44-24 in the third period, to effectively put the game away.

Brandon Miller continued his impressive rookie campaign, leading the team with 29 points, as he was asked to play point guard tonight, in the absence of LaMelo Ball, who missed a second straight game. Miller scored his 19 points, on 11-19 shooting, including going 3-6 from behind the arc. He was one of four Hornet starters to reach double figures, as Miles Bridges (21), P.J. Washington (16), and Cody Martin (14), all scored in double figures, but the lack of depth was evident, as Charlotte got just 7 points from their bench.

Jalen Brunson was the best player on the floor tonight, scoring a game-high 32 points, all while receiving “MVP” chants throughout the game as the Knick faithful made their presence known.

We’ve seen the frustrations of Steve Clifford during the duration of the season, and tonight it led to him getting ejected in the fourth quarter with the result well in hand, That ejection came from arguing a no-call after Brandon Miller scored in the lane, and in the process caught an elbow, but no whistle was blown. Clifford addressed the ejection in the postgame saying “He got hit in the face. To me, they’ve got to see that. Again, you don’t want to get kicked out of the game. That doesn’t help anything. Handling frustration is a big part of this league even when you’re a really good team, and in a situation like this, it’s critical that we all do it. That starts with me, so I can’t be doing that.”

The Hornets close out their four-game homestand on Wednesday night when they host the Chicago Bulls, currently the 8th-seeded team in the conference. A tip is set for 7 PM. Make sure to join Kyle Bailey and Travis “T-Bone” Hancock for the pregame coverage starting at 6 PM, on Sports Radio 92.7 WFNZ, and the WFNZ app.