On this day one year ago, Kemba Walker created a benchmark in Charlotte.
The guard put up 60 points against the Philadelphia 76ers at home in a 122-119 overtime loss, the most a Hornet has ever scored in a game in franchise history.
Walker’s final statline included seven rebounds, four dimes and four steals. He went 21-of-34 from the floor, a ridiculous 61 percent, and drilled 6-of-14 three-point attempts. Walker also sank all 12 of his free throws.
Unfortunately for him, though, it was in a losing effort. Charlotte couldn’t get enough help from the rest of its lineup to overcome the more balanced 76ers attack, including 33 points via Joel Embiid. A triple from Jimmy Butler that connected right before the end of overtime was the difference, surviving Philadelphia from Walker’s onslaught.
The Spin on Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker had a reputation of a big shot maker and prolific scorer before entering the NBA in 2011. It took him a few seasons to adjust to the professional level, but by the 2015-16 campaign, he was averaging more than 20 points each night and hasn’t looked back since. Now a premier point guard in the league and a member of the Boston Celtics, Walker is likely to extend his three-season streak in the All-Star Game to four.
Exactly two years ago today and 365 days before Walker dropped 60 on Philadelphia, the guard put up 47 versus the Chicago Bulls on 63 percent shooting in another close defeat, 123-120. Fast forward a year later and Walker scored 60. Skip ahead two days later, and he scorched his future team, the Celtics, with 43 points, five assists and seven three-pointers. This time, his performance turned into a W as the Hornets prevailed, 117-112.
What’s the lesson here? Kemba Walker is horrifying in November. He is yet to put up a 40-plus point game in 2019’s version of the month, but he did have 33 against the New York Knicks on Nov. 1. Today at 3:30 p.m. EST, the Celtics play at Golden 1 Center against the Sacramento Kings. Will he turn out another special performance on the first anniversary of his career night?