CHARLOTTE, NC – The Knicks attended another emotional ceremony in honor of Kobe Bryant on Tuesday evening, but failed to achieve their second consecutive win.
Julius Randle, a former Bryant teammate for two seasons with the Lakers, scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half after expressing his devastation over the NBA legend's death on Sunday.
But Terry Rozier (30 points) made a comeback after an early 13-point deficit and sank four free throws in the last few seconds for the Hornets, who, after losing on Friday with a 97-92 win, returned an 8-game on their return Skid stopped in Paris after Milwaukee.
This game started for the Knicks much like it did for Sunday's victory over the Nets at the Garden, with a pre-game tribute and both teams nodding to Bryant. Charlotte's Devonte & # 39; Gham ran out of 24-second shot clock while Knicks Point Guard Elfrid Payton suffered an 8-second court injury that represented the two numbers Kobe wore in his 20-year career with the Lakers ,
Marcus Morris added 23 points for the Knicks, but he had a possible four-point game that was canceled at 1:56 when the officials decided after a video check that he had committed an offensive foul.
Morris had said over the nets after Sunday's victory that he wished the Knicks hadn't played in a Southern California helicopter accident just hours after the crash of Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and seven others.
"I think they did just about everyone else," said Knick interim coach Mike Miller before Tuesday's game. "I think I really saw it as a kind of tribute [to Bryant], I listened to different shows and different things and they talked about how he dealt with himself and what he did. I think it was a tribute to him how they went out and treated themselves. "
Miller also agreed that canceling the training on Monday was "what our team needed" before stressing, "Now is the time to play."
Randle, who said he "adored the ground" before the game, went on to be both a childhood fan and teammate, Bryant scoring 12 points in the first quarter when the Knicks took a quick 24:11 lead. But the Hornets closed at 50-47 at halftime, 68-66 through three quarters and leading up to 10 in the closing stages.
Dennis Smith Jr., who lives in nearby N.C. State played, was the first point guard from the bank for the Knicks and ended with seven points in 15 minutes. Frank Ntilikina (three points) only played 3:44 in the fourth quarter.