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The Sixers beat the Hornets
One step forward, two steps back.
Chris Paul, with a fresh haircut and two healthy ankles, was back for last night's game against the visiting Sixers, but our Hornets still managed to lose, 89-78. As I said, every loss right now is a dagger for the Hornets' slim Playoff hopes, especially a loss to one of the worst teams in the League, who embarrased you on the road only a week ago.
That's right, we just got swept by the Sixers.
Where's the pride? Where's the urgency? I don't know what to make of this team anymore. News and notes…
- Linkage: box | recap | video | photos
- The loss brings the Hornets' record to 19-26, now 4.0 games behind the Clippers (23-22) and Nuggets (22-21) who occupy the last two Playoff spots. Full standings here. I'm guessing we need at least 43 wins to sneak in, meaning the Hornets need to go 24-13 the rest of the way.
- Chris Paul didn't play great, obviously still suffering some lingering effects from the ankle injury. He scored 9 points on 4-of-11 shooting, and dished two assists in 29 minutes of action. Having said that, he likely would have had plenty more dimes if his teammates kocked down the open looks.
- The game was much the same as the one in Philly last week, with the Sixers racing out to a big lead in the second quarter. They led by 21 points at the half, and the Hornets got no closer than eight points after the break. In the fourth quarter, a Devin Brown layup was the only basket for the Hornets in a 6:30 stretch. That was pretty much the game right there.
- The Sixers killed us on the boards, grabbing a season-high 58, compared to 40 for the Hornets. The trio of Sam Dalembert, Steven Hunter and Joe Smith accounted for 37 Philly rebounds. It's especially embarrassing when you consider that Philly are the worst rebounding team in the entire League, usually averaging just 38 boards per game.
- The Sixers are now 5-3 since pairing Dalembert and Hunter in the starting lineup.
- The Hornets' lack of aggresion could also be seen in the free-throw discrepancy. Philly made 31 trips and knocked down 24. The Hornets made just 8 trips, connecting on 5. I'm guessing that's a season-low for free-throw attempts.
- One high-point: The Hornets had a season low five turnovers.
- Tyson Chandler was the only impressive big for the Hornets, grabbing 15 rebounds and scoring 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
- David West, Desmond Mason and Rasual Butler scored 10 points each, but shot a combined 13-of-40 (31%) from the field. Devin Brown was about the only straight shooter for the Hornets, dropping 7-of-12 for 17 points in his new role off the bench.
- Bobby Jackson missed all five of his shots and finished scoreless in 22 minutes.
- Leading Philly was Andre Iguodala, who scored 22, grabbed 9 and dished 7. Andre Miller chipped in with 15 points. Kyle Korver and his lovely hair shot just 2-of-8 for 10 points.
- Other side: Passion and Pride.
Next up for the Hornets is the final game of the current homestand, tomorrow against the T-Wolves, a team very much in the hunt for that same Playoff spot we're chasing. Should be heaps of fun.
Before that, we have the announcement of the All-Star reserves at about 6 Central this evening on TNT. Chris Paul might have a shot despite missing a full month. I figure Nash, Iverson, Carmelo and Nowitzki are definitely in. That leaves three spots open. Carlos Boozer is ruled out due to injury. Amaré Stoudemire, Shawn Marion, Josh Howard and Deron Williams are all deserving. Maybe Pau Gasol, too.
Should be interesting, although whether he makes the big game or not, CP will still be in Vegas for All-Star Weekend, competing in the Rookie Challenge.
Um, guess I'm done. I'll be leaving then.