CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Frank Kaminsky snapped out of his slump, and not surprisingly so did the Charlotte Hornets.
Kaminsky scored 15 of his season high-tying 24 points in the first half to give the Hornets a jolt off the bench in a 109-91 victory over the New York Knicks on Monday night.
“There’s 82 games and you can control your effort for every single game,” Kaminsky said. “When I come out and just play, I think I’m a completely different player.”
Kaminsky didn’t miss a shot until the fourth quarter, finishing 10 of 13 overall and 4 of 6 on 3-pointers to provide a boost for a Hornets bench that has struggled so much lately that interim head coach Stephen Silas has shortened the playing rotation.
Kaminsky ended a slump that had lasted since he returned from a sprained right ankle on Dec. 6. He had scored 28 points in the previous four games while converting only 11 of 34 shots.
“(He) just played (and) didn’t worry about making mistakes, didn’t worry about his shot fake and his shot and all that other stuff,” Charlotte interim coach Stephen Silas said. “He was just playing the game the way he knows he can. Hopefully we’ll see that as we go forward with guys like Nic (Batum), guys like Frank and then the other guys, especially our bench guys, getting a little bit more consistency and confidence.”
Silas was able to use all 12 of his players in a game in which Charlotte (11-19) led by as much as 27 points.
The Hornets snapped a three-game skid and ended the Knicks’ four-game winning streak.
Kaminsky entered late in the first quarter with the Hornets trailing 15-11 and he soon sparked a 22-4 run that turned a 19-15 deficit into a 37-23 lead with 10:25 left in the first half.
Later, Kaminsky had eight points in a 17-3 surge that extended a 41-30 lead to 58-33 with 3:22 left in the half.
“Well, when Kaminsky was in there he was able to spread them out,” New York coach Jeff Hornacek said. “And once he hits his first couple, he’s a tough guy to deal with.”
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 15 points and 10 rebounds, Marvin Williams scored 12 points and Dwight Howard finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte.
Michael Beasley scored 23 points for New York.
“We missed shots we usually make,” Knicks forward Lance Thomas said. “We missed a lot of layups at the basket and a bunch of open threes from some of our better shooters on the team.
Knicks: Forward Kristaps Porzingis missed his second straight game with left knee soreness. Coach Jeff Hornacek said Porzingis went through shootaround Monday morning before the decision was made…. Guard Tim Hardaway Jr., missed his ninth game with a stress injury to his left leg.
Hornets: Monday marked two full weeks that Silas has filled in for Steve Clifford while Clifford continues to deal with an undisclosed health issue. “He’s pretty much at where he was a couple weeks ago, so I speak to him every day,” Silas said. “…I talked to him yesterday for quite a while and he’s kind of still in the same place, trying to figure out what’s going on and we’re just kind of subbing right now.”
The decision to sit Porzingis came after Monday morning’s shootaround. “It still kind of felt like it did the other night, so we’re going to hold him out again,” Hornacek said. “… He went through shootaround and kind of did the same routine he did the other day, just to test the different ways that he moves. And he still felt it.”
Monday’s win was Charlotte’s seventh straight on its home court over the Knicks. New York’s last win in Charlotte was in November 2013.
Knicks: Host Celtics on Thursday night.
Hornets: Host Raptors on Wednesday night.
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