Kemba Walker banked in a tough jumper with 1.4 seconds left to send the Hornets to a 98-94 home victory over the Pelicans on Wednesday.
It pays to be both lucky and good. With the score tied at 94 and less than 10 seconds remaining, Walker drove hard to his right on Jrue Holiday before pulling up from about 15 feet. As he started to rise, Walker ducked and covered the ball to prevent a steal, forcing him to enter awkwardly into his shooting motion. It didn't matter. Walker was able to regain control and toss up a double-clutch, go-ahead shot that banked in high off the glass with 1.4 seconds remaining. He then tacked on a free throw after Holiday was whistled for reaching on the play.
New Orleans wasn't able to get a shot off on its ensuing possession, and Charlotte's Marvin Williams added one final free throw to seal the victory.
Although Walker's overall numbers in "clutch" situations haven't been the greatest this season, he has delivered multiple victories for the Hornets. In October, he beat the Bucks with a game-winner in overtime. Then, in December, he downed the Knicks with a buzzer-beating layup.
Walker scored nine straight points down the stretch for Charlotte to finish with a team-high 31 points (on 12-for-24 shooting), four rebounds and four assists. Gerald Henderson added 16 points (on 7-for-17 shooting), seven rebounds and six assists.
Anthony Davis led all scorers with 32 points (on 15-for-24 shooting) and added 12 rebounds and four blocks. Holiday finished with 16 points (on 6-for-13 shooting), nine assists and six rebounds.
Charlotte improved to 13-24. New Orleans dropped to 17-18.