Fewer than 24 hours after Dwight Howard achieved a rare 30-point, 30-rebound line in Brooklyn, his teammate Kemba Walker performed taxidermy on the Memphis Grizzlies’ rotting carcass. In three quarters of action, Walker was a tour de force from the perimeter, scoring 46 points, draining 10-of-10 attempts from the charity stripe and shooting 10-for-14 from distance to throttle Memphis 140-79.
Earlier in the day Howard was issued a one-game suspension for collecting his 16th technical of the season. Walker more than compensated for his absence. It was obvious early on that something special was afoot when Charlotte took a 12-2 lead after 4 and 1/2 minutes. Walker outscored the entire Grizzlies team through the first quarter, 17-14.
Kemba Walker single-handedly outscored the Grizzlies in the first quarter. pic.twitter.com/IglY0HUMli
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 22, 2018
By halftime, the Hornets were humiliating Memphis 75-42 and Walker had already tallied 35 points. For Memphis, getting stomped by a lottery-bound Charlotte team sans Howard may be the nadir of their ongoing 82-game slog.
From a glass half-full perspective, the loss sunk Memphis into a tie for the NBA’s worst record with the Phoenix Suns. In their season opener, Phoenix set the low bar for routs in a 48-point loss to Portland. Thursday night, Memphis shed the backbone of their team, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley, Tyreke Evans and vestigial bone, Chandler Parsons to squeeze underneath it.
Walker’s final total of 46 points was the catalyst for the largest margin of victory in Charlotte Hornets history and the sixth-largest in NBA history.
The Hornets posted the 6th-largest win in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/RqzOBixiOU
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) March 23, 2018
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