January 06, 2015

As Kemba Walker continues to flourish amid his career season, the Charlotte Hornets are determined to keep surging.

With Walker in position to record his first four-game streak with at least 30 points, the Hornets can win a season-high five straight for the second time in a month Wednesday night against the visiting New Orleans Pelicans.

Walker scored 21 of his 34 points in the third quarter to help Charlotte (34-28) win for the 10th time in 12 games, 108-103 over Minnesota on Monday. Sixth in the Eastern Conference, the Hornets are closing in on second-place Atlanta in the Southeast Division and are just 2 1/2 games back of first-place Miami.

"(We're) feeling pretty good but we don't want to relax," Walker said. "We need to stay hungry if we want to keep on winning and get into the playoffs."

With career highs of 21.2 points per contest, 43.3 percent shooting and 4.4 rebounds, Walker has shown his hunger by averaging 32.3 in three games and hitting 49.0 percent of his shots in the last nine. He's gone 15 of 29 from 3-point range as the Hornets have posted a 4-0 mark this month.

In Walker's five seasons, Charlotte is 20-5 when he scores at least 30.

"I just want to continue my good play," he told the NBA's official website. "That's what I've been focused on, just keep on getting better and trying to win."

Charlotte, which won five straight Feb. 6-21, has averaged 115.3 points and 42.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc in March. It can win six in a row at home for the second time this season.

"I think we've played with intensity and good confidence all year," coach Steve Clifford said. "I think our team has been a confident team from the get-go. ... I think that when they play well we're good. They have a good understanding of who we are and what we have to do."

Walker scored 31 in a 98-94 home win over the Pelicans last season. He and teammate Nicolas Batum each had 25 points in a 109-107 loss at New Orleans on Jan. 15.

Ryan Anderson hit six 3-pointers and finished with 32 points while Anthony Davis scored 22 in that contest for the Pelicans (24-38).

Davis had 31 and 11 rebounds to help New Orleans climb out of a 17-point hole and snap a four-game skid with Monday's 115-112 victory over Sacramento.

''No matter what the score is or what the situation is - playoffs or no playoffs - we're going to keep playing,'' said Davis, who scored 23 in the second half.

The Pelicans shot 47.9 percent after hitting 40.2 and averaging 91.7 points in the previous three contests.

"We've been a work-in-progress for almost a year now, so we just continue to try to plug guys in to certain situations and spots and see how it can work out," coach Alvin Gentry said. "We'll just keep plugging away and try to do the best we can and try to answer some questions as far as rotations and things like that."

Gentry said he wanted to see if Jrue Holiday is worthy of being a consistent starter after the veteran guard had 20 points and 10 assists Monday in his first start since Dec. 1.

Holiday, who scored 22 against Utah two days earlier, looks like he'll get that opportunity after New Orleans announced Tuesday that guard Eric Gordon had surgery to repair a fractured right ring finger and will miss the remainder of the season.

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