The Magic beat the Hornets

Published: December 21, 2006

The Hornets came up short in Orlando last night, 83-86, but rather than focusing on yet another loss, I think we should take a minute and dwell on Chris Paul's uber-funky slam over Dwight Howard…


That shouldn't feel so good, but when you've lost 11 of 13 games, you take what you can get.

Fine, on to the depressing stuff…

  • Linkage: box | recap | video | photos
  • Not feeling at enough of a disadvantage already, the Hornets spotted the Magic an early 20-point lead yesterday. It was 23-3 eight minutes in. The first quarter finished 26-13.
  • The Hornets also decided not to score at the end of the game, which studies have shown is a really bad time not to be scoring. They managed just one field goal in the last seven minutes, negating the tough D that held Orlando scoreless for the final three.
  • Chris Paul did a helluva lot more than punk Dwight Howard, finishing with 19 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds in 43 minutes. Make that the fourth time in five games he's played at least 43.

    CP also had a chance to take the final shot but instead deferred to Rasual Butler, who air-balled some kind of three-pointer. Byron Scott said afterwards that he wanted Chris to take that shot or get to the basket and make something happen.

    Time to get selfish, CP.

  • The Hornets starting bigs – Tyson Chandler and Hilton Armstrong – combined for 4 big big points last night, which is awesome. Congratulations guys. Fantastic job. Really. Happy Christmas.
  • Grant Hill and his magic ankles led Orlando with 21 points and 7 boards. Dwight Howard scored 16, grabbed 13 and became my favorite big man in the NBA. Move over Michael Olowokandi.
  • Travis Diener proved to be the difference, busting a pair of triples midway through the fourth quarter. Never liked that guy.
  • Byron Scott postgame:

    "We're playing hard. The last two games, we lose by a total of five points. I'm not happy about losing games, but if you've got to take some type of moral victory out of these situations, it's the fact that we've got a bunch of guys who are playing hard and they're learning from this. Hopefully, in February or March, this makes us a much better basketball team."

  • Speaking of Byron Scott, 62.79% of voters think he should be fired. I demand a recount.
  • Believing in Magic's blog report on the game.

Despite all the above jabs and criticisms, I've got to admit that the Hornets have done better than expected the past two games. If they had somehow pulled those out in the end, we'd still be looking at a .500 record right now. Comforting, huh?

Ok, not really. Losses are losses, but given the circumstances, the Hornets could easily be getting blown out every single night. Nice to see guys playing hard and at least giving themselves a chance to win.

The Hornets schedule for the next week or so looks like this:

– Tomorrow home against Memphis, who have Pau Gasol back from injury.
– Saturday home against the Spurs, who don't like to lose.
– Tuesday 26th at Seattle.
– Wednesday 27th at Portland.
– Friday 29th home against Denver minus Carmelo plus AI.
– Saturday 30th at Dallas.

Some real tough games in that stretch, but definitely some the Hornets can win. It's gonna be an interesting week.

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