The Charlotte Hornets advanced to the final four of the Samsung NBA Summer League tournament on Saturday with an 82-79 victory over the New York Knicks. Charlotte pulls off a third straight win and a bit of revenge after losing to the previously undefeated Knicks 95-72 on July 14.
Four Hornets scored in double figures in the game, led by Justin Brownlee's 16-points to go with 15 from PJ Hairston and 12 from Noah Vonleh. New York's Tim Hardaway Jr. led all scorers with 27 points while Shane Larkin scored 16 and Cleanthony Early finished with 15 in defeat.
After playing to a dead heat in the first quarter with an 18-17 advantage, the Hornets turned up the intensity in the second taking a 31-19 lead at the six minute mark before weathering a run from the Knicks that ended with Charlotte clinging to a 37-36 lead at the half.
Charlotte got on a roll in the third quarter behind some hot shooting from Hairston and Rion Brown. The pair combined for 14 points in the period and helped the Hornets build a 62-49 lead heading into the the fourth.
The Knicks outscored Charlotte 30-20 in the fourth quarter, slicing a 15-point lead to as little as four with as few as three seconds to play. Larkin connected on a last second three-pointer as time expired, but it was too little too late. The Hornets would survive and advance while sending the Knicks from Sin City back to the city that never sleeps.
Former New York Knick and Hornets associate head coach, Patrick Ewing was very pleased with his teams effort, "the guys kept playing hard and continued to make plays down the stretch and now we are on our way to the semifinals". Ewing said after the game.
The Hornets will now face off with the Houston Rockets on Sunday July, 20 with a spot in the championship game on the line.