NBA: Hornets, Kemba Walker zip past Bulls in return match


Posted at Oct 27 2018 09:58 AM

Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine (8) shoots the ball against Charlotte Hornets center Cody Zeller (40) in the first half at Spectrum Center. Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

Kemba Walker scored 30 points, all in the first three quarters, and the Charlotte Hornets salvaged a split of a two-game home-and-home against the visiting Chicago Bulls with an easy 135-106 victory on Friday night.

The Hornets erupted for 45 points in the second quarter and led 68-54 at halftime, then pushed the lead up to as many as 28 in the third quarter. The biggest lead wound up being 135-101 late in the fourth.

The Bulls won 112-110 in Chicago on Wednesday night, when Zach LaVine hit two free throws with 0.5 seconds remaining.

Walker finished 11 of 18 from the field and also got close to his first triple-double of the season with six rebounds and seven assists in just 26 minutes. 

The Hornets also got 18 points and eight assists from Tony Parker, so the point guard position accounted for 48 points and 15 assists.

The Hornets had eight players score in double figures. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 15 with eight rebounds; Miles Bridges scored 15; Cody Zeller scored 14; and Nic Batum, Jeremy Lamb and Malik Monk scored 10 each.

LaVine led the Bulls with 20 points. The Bulls also got 19 points from Jabari Parker, 15 from Cameron Payne and 13 from Antonio Blakeney.

LaVine came into the game third in the NBA in scoring at 32.3 ppg, while Walker ranked fifth in the league in scoring at 31.0. 

LaVine scored 32 with the game-winning free throws in the final second on Wednesday while Walker scored just 23 on 5-of-14 shooting from the field.

The Bulls were without Lauri Markkanen (elbow), Denzel Valentine (ankle), Kris Dunn (knee) and Bobby Portis (knee). Portis was injured in the game Wednesday night and is expected to miss six weeks.

The Bulls were starting a brief trip south. They will play at Atlanta on Saturday.

The Hornets will travel to Philadelphia on Saturday, then will return home for a four-game homestand.

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