Hornets beat Hawks backups 115-100
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 21 points and the Charlotte Hornets beat an Atlanta Hawks team missing all five starters, 115-100 in the NBA on Saturday night.
Gerald Henderson scored 20 points on 9-of-10 shooting, and Mo Williams hit four 3-pointers and had 18 points as the Hornets ended its three-game losing streak.
Marvin Williams chipped in with 17 points for Charlotte, which moved back within a game of eighth place in the tight Eastern Conference.
Kent Bazemore scored 20 points and Dennis Schroder had 17 points and 11 assists for the Hawks, who sat all five starters one night after clinching the top seed in the East playoffs.
DeMarre Carroll, Kyle Korver, Al Horford and Paul Millsap were given a night to rest, while Jeff Teague sat out with a sprained ankle for Atlanta. Bazemore, Mike Muscala, John Jenkins and Elton Brand started alongside Schroder.
The Hornets built a 57-52 halftime lead behind 10 points off the bench from rookie P.J. Hairston, who was 4 of 4 from the field before the break, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Charlotte pushed the lead to 14 behind nine points from Walker in the third quarter, including scores on three straight possessions, and kept Atlanta from making a meaningful run in the fourth to win for only the third time in the last 11 games.
Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points, Pau Gasol added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls handed the Knicks their franchise-record 60th loss, beating New York 111-80.
The rookie Mirotic had another strong game, finishing five points shy of his career high. Gasol recorded his league-leading 48th double-double as Chicago won for the fifth time in six games.
Jimmy Butler scored 18 for Chicago.
The Bulls, who led by 20 at halftime, fell four points short of their most lopsided victory of the season. They pulled within two games of Central Division leader Cleveland and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of fourth-place Toronto in the Eastern Conference.
Andrea Bargnani led New York with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Stephen Curry scored 25 points, and the Golden State Warriors clinched the top seed in the Western Conference by pulling away in the second half of a 108-95 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Klay Thompson added 21 for Golden State, which also set a franchise record with its 60th victory of the season. The Warriors hold a 10-game lead over second-place Memphis in the West with nine games left in the regular season.
Khris Middleton had 14 points for Milwaukee, which fell back under .500 at 36-37 after winning two straight.
Trey Burke scored 22 points off the bench to lead the Utah Jazz to a 94-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder and LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 11 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Denver Nuggets 120-114.