Charlotte Hornets beat up on depleted New York Knicks

ImageKristaps Porzingis has been averaging 25.5 points a game for the Knicks this

NY enters with a 16-13 overall record and 17-12 ATS after a 111-96 home win over the Thunder, its fourth straight victory. In the first, Kristaps Porzingis scored a game-high 28 points and the Knicks, who were 2-point underdogs, beat the Hornets 118-113. The Hornets didn't look back and even pushed their lead to as much as 27 points in the fourth. NY was lifted by Michael Beasley, who was the top scorer from either team with 30 points on 11-for-18 shooting. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Dwight Howard each assembled points-rebounds double-doubles. Jeremy Lamb contributed 15 points and four rebounds off the bench.

The Hornets rank 23rd in fast break points per game (9.2) while the Knicks rank 29th (6.1). Joining Beasley in the starting five will be Jarrett Jack, Courtney Lee, Lance Thomas and Enes Kanter. The Knicks won the first meeting this season by a count of 118-113 on their home floor on November 7. The Hornets are now 3-6 since coach Steve Clifford left the team to deal with an unspecified health issue.

While New York struggled to shoot in that second period, Charlotte caught fire by hitting almost 60 percent from the floor and it buried 4-of-6 from downtown.

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The last time the Hornets played, they lost a tough one against the Portland Trail Blazers, 93-91. Even though the Hornets were struggling coming into this game, they got lucky as the Knicks were without their top two scorers. They will close out the home stand on Wednesday against Toronto.

Next Up: The Knicks will have two days back in NY to prepare for the Boston Celtics.

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