Piv­otal third sends Hor­nets past 76ers

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Steve Reed

CHAR­LOTTE, N.C. >> Kemba Walker had 22 points, Ni­co­las Ba­tum scored 17 of 20 points in a piv­otal third quar­ter and the Char­lotte Hor­nets handed the Philadel­phia 76ers their fourth straight loss to open the sea­son, 109-93 on Wed­nes­day night.

Led by Ba­tum, the Hor­nets opened the sec­ond half on a 16-2 run to erase a seven-point half­time deficit and gain con­trol.

Ba­tum, who came into the game shoot­ing just 27 per­cent from the field and was lim­ited to three points in the first half, was 6 of 8 in the third quar­ter with three 3-point­ers as the Hor­nets outscored the 76ers 39-20. The 76ers didn’t help them­selves with eight turnovers in the third quar­ter that led to 12 Char­lotte points.

Frank Kamin­sky pro­vided a huge boost off the bench for Char­lotte (3-1), fin­ish­ing with 14 points for his sec­ond-straight dou­bledigit game since re­turn­ing from a sprained foot. Cody Zeller added 13 points in his first game since re­ceiv­ing a $56 mil­lion con­tract ex­ten­sion ear­lier this week.

Er­san Ilyasova had 14 points on 5-of-12 shoot­ing in his first game with the 76ers since be­ing ac­quired in a trade with the Ok­la­homa City Thun­der. Dario Saric also had 14 points

Ba­tum came into the game shoot­ing 27 per­cent from the field in the first three games of the sea­son and 21 per­cent be­hind the arc.

TIP-INS

76ERS >> Jahlil Okafor was on a “min­utes re­stric­tion” due to knee sore­ness and only played 23 min­utes . ... Treveon Gra­ham saw his first NBA ac­tion for the Hor­nets but played only one minute . ... Have lost six straight games to the Hor­nets . ... Com­mit­ted 19 turnovers that led to 29 points.

UP NEXT

76ERS >> Things don’t get eas­ier for Philadel­phia, which plays host to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cava­liers on Satur­day night. HOR­NETS >> Visit Brook­lyn on Thurs­day night be­fore re­turn­ing home for a three­game home stand.

CHUCK BURTON — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The Philadel­phia 76ers’ Jahlil Okafor, left, drives against the Char­lotte Hor­nets’ Frank Kamin­sky dur­ing the first half in Char­lotte, N.C., Wed­nes­day.

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