Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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NBA Preview: Charlotte Hornets (20-46) at New York Knicks (39-27)

The Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks are moving in opposite directions.

However, on Tuesday night in New York, they will meet for the final time this season.

After beating Boston 131-129 in double overtime on Sunday, the Knicks now have a nine-game winning streak. It marked New York’s second week-long victory over the Celtics.

After a five-game winning streak, which was the longest of the season, the Hornets have lost three straight. Without their most dynamic player and out of playoff contention, Charlotte may struggle the remainder of the season.

The Knicks appear to be going full speed ahead toward the playoffs, despite having the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference. Despite their desire not to be derailed by the Hornets, they will undoubtedly require energy replenishment following three nights of two-point road victories, the first of which was against Miami.

Only three times this season has Immanuel Quickley scored a team-high 38 points for the Knicks, a career high.

However, for the majority of the Knicks’ efforts, Randle remains the center of attention. He has scored 32 points per game over the past six contests.

With Jalen Brunson (foot) out of the lineup, Quickley took over.

Since LaMelo Ball’s season-ending ankle injury last week, the Hornets have faced offensive challenges.

Clifford has criticized the team’s lack of ball movement, particularly in their defeat to the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, when they lost 102-96.

For the past three games, Kelly Oubre Jr. has been Charlotte’s leading scorer. At Brooklyn, he scored just 17 points and missed all four of his attempts at a 3-pointer.

In the absence of Ball, Dennis Smith has continued to play on the bench, but in many instances, he has been the Hornets’ sole true point guard. Even though Smith played a significant role earlier in the season when injuries reduced the Hornets’ backcourt, this is a time of adjustment.

Focus Imprint Williams had another twofold in the Brooklyn game, giving the freshman seven this season.

On the road, on December 9, the Knicks defeated Charlotte 121-102 and beat the Hornets 134-131 in overtime.

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