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Hornets beat Melo-less Knicks 76-71 for 9th win in 11 games

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Brian Roberts scored 17 points, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the New York Knicks 76-71 Saturday night for their ninth victory in the last 11 games.

Roberts, who started in place of the injured Kemba Walker, was 5 of 9 from the field and made all six free throws as the Hornets snapped the Knicks’ three-game win streak.

The Knicks played without Carmelo Anthony, who was held out to rest his knee on the second night of a back-to-back.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Knicks with 25 points and Lance Thomas had 16 points and eight rebounds.

Walker missed his third game in the last five after his knee flared up.

The injury news got worse for the Hornets when big men Marvin Williams (concussion) and Bismack Biyombo (knee bruise) left the game early with injuries and did not return.

The Hornets were coming off a sluggish 39-point loss to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night, and that lack of energy seemed to carry over early against the Knicks.

Charlotte shot 16.7 percent from the field to open the game, missing 24 of their first 29 shots. However, the Knicks couldn’t take advantage and only led by one at halftime.

The Hornets eventually took the lead with 3 minutes left in the third quarter when Jason Maxiell knocked down an 18-foot jumper from the foul line.

The Hornets extended their lead to seven when P.J. Hairston knocked down a 3-pointer from 29 feet away and Michael Kidd- Gilchrist scored on a layup off a feed from Lance Stephenson. Henderson finished with 14 points.

The Knicks battled back behind Hardaway, who knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key to tie the game at 69 with 2:39 remaining.

But Roberts’ fall-away jumper from the left baseline gave the Hornets the lead for good.

The Knicks had a chance to tie the game with 22 seconds left but Hardaway clanked a 3-pointer off the backboard and Cole Aldrich threw the ball away with 11 seconds left after chasing down a loose ball.

Henderson knocked down two free throws with 10 seconds left to help seal the win.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford was hoping that Al Jefferson, in his third game back from a groin injury, would help to pick up the scoring slack with Walker out. But the big man started the game 2 of 11 from the field and finished with nine points.

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TIP-INS

Knicks: The Knicks started three players on 10-day contracts — Lance Thomas, Langston Galloway and Lou Amundson. … Amundson fouled out with 330 left in the fourth quarter.

Hornets: The Hornets were outrebounded 54-41 with Biyombo and Williams in the locker room.

UP NEXT

Knicks: At San Antonio on Wednesday night.

Hornets: Host Sacramento on Monday night.

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