As you’d expect: The Suns beat the Hornets

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Published: April 7, 2007

A surprisingly good effort by the Hornets last night, despite being without Chris Paul, Tyson Chandler, Desmond Mason and Peja Stojakovic. We did of course lose to the Suns, 103-95, but I'm just glad the final score wasn't more like 216-62.

Hilton with the put-back

Diving into news and notes…

  • Linkage: box | recap | video
  • The Suns raced out to 37-23 lead after one, and that proved to be key as the Hornets out-scored the visitors by two in each subsequent quarter. The closest we got was six points a couple times in the third.
  • Byron Scott went with his 17th starting lineup of the season; Devin Brown, Jannero Pargo, Marc Jackson, David West and Rasual Butler. The Suns had their usual starting five of Steve Nash, Raja Bell, Amare Stoudemire, Boris Diaw and Shawn Marion.

    As Jenni Carlson points out in today's Oklahoman, the match-ups didn't get any less lopsided…

    Eight minutes left against the Suns — second only to the other-worldly Mavericks in the NBA strata — and the Hornets trotted out this bunch: Devin Brown. Jannero Pargo. Bobby Jackson. Marcus Vinicius. Hilton Armstrong.

  • West led the Hornets with 17 points and 5 rebounds while Marc Jackson proved me wrong by scoring 16 on 8-of-13 shooting. Four other Hornets also scored in double figures.
  • Benifiting from all the injuries were Armstrong, Vinicius and Brandon Bass. Hilton was most impressive, shaking off a wrist injury to deliver 8 points, 3 rebounds and 2 blocks in 17 minutes. He had a sweet put-back jam in the fourth quarter off a miss by Pargo.
  • Still. No. Linton. Johnson.

    It's getting ridiculous now, Byron. Seriously, dude, play the guy.

  • Leandro Barbosa led the Suns attack with 26 points off the bench. Shawn Marion had 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Steve Nash managed 15 points, 12 assists and 8 boards.
  • Those eight rebounds by the 6-3 Nash were more than any Hornet. The Suns finished with a 42-33 advantage on the boards.

This loss was expected, but still a kick in the crotch. The Warriors took care of the mighty Memphis Grizzlies last night, so they're now two games ahead of us in the standings. We're three games behind the LA Clippers for the eighth Playoff spot. Jim Eichenhofer figured out the complicated stuff over at the Official

From a mathematical standpoint, unless the Hornets receive some unexpected help, they may need to go 6-0 the rest of the way to give themselves a chance to get in the postseason. No matter what the Hornets do, the Clippers can eliminate the Hornets by going 5-3 or better in their final eight games, while the Warriors can do likewise with a 4-2 or better finish.

You can take a look at the remaining games for the Clippers and Warriors and figure out the possibilities for yourself. I think we'll get help from LA and Golden State, because they both have some tough games ahead, but the Hornets definitely can't afford to lose right now. Way I see it, one more loss would be crippling, two would be fatal.

KGTonight it's the Timberwolves in Minneapolis, and we might be without CP and Tyson again. I'll post an update on their status if I hear it. If they travelled with the team to Minnesota they'll likely be a game-time decision.

The T-Wolves beat the Knicks in New York yesterday to improve to 32-43 on the season. They have lost their past three games at home by an average of 9.0 points. Kevin Garnett and co. were in Oklahoma City back in early February, and the Hornets came out on top, 90-83, behind superb performances by the two guys who may not play tonight. Refresh.

Tip is at 7pm Central. Also this evening, the Warriors are at San Antonio and the Clippers host the Nuggets.

Linkage and I'm gone…

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