Hornets 'Baffled' By Zone Defense, Fall To Knicks In OT, 126-124

CHARLOTTE --The Hornets blew a 15 point lead in the fourth quarter, falling to the Knicks in overtime at the Spectrum Center on Friday, 126-124. 

“It’s a tough loss. I thought our guys played well," said head coach James Borrego. We had a good first half, great spirit, the ball was moving and shots were going down but it’s the NBA. You have to play for 48 minutes and we just didn’t compete for 48 minutes. Give New York credit but we have another one tomorrow. We have to bounce back.”

Photo Credit: Ryan Hedrick/Carolina Sports Link

Hornets center Cody Zeller finished with 21 points, 13 rebounds and three assists tonight. Zeller’s 21 points mark his third-straight double-digit scoring performance and his highest scoring performance this season (prev: 19 vs. ATL, 11/28).

Photo Credit: Ryan Hedrick/Carolina Sports Link

“I think it was kind of the zone defense. We didn’t attack it. We were kind of on our heels and we just made uncharacteristic plays," said Zeller. They went to a zone in the third quarter and we acted like we never saw it before. That one is on us. That one stings for sure.”

Knicks guard Emmanuel Mudiay scored a career-high 34 points, all but five of those points were scored after the first half. 

“He was scoring in a number of ways. He got to his pull-up," Borrego said. He got to the rim a few times, he got to the free throw line but they shot 31 free throws. I think that was a big difference tonight to our 10. That’s a 21-point differential." right there but Mudiay stayed aggressive. He made shots. I give him credit.”

The Hornets play the Lakers on Saturday night at the Spectrum Center.