The Hornets beat the Clippers

Published: April 11, 2007

Ah yes, it's a great day to be alive. Still alive, that is. The Hornets prick-teasing OT win over the Clippers last night keeps our Playoff hopes afloat for at least another few days.


I'm jumping right into bullet-mode for this one…

  • Linkage: box | recap | video
  • Regulation came down to a 15-footer by Elton Brand, over the out-stretched arm of David West. Tie ball game. It was a pretty good battle between those two. Brand finished with the better numbers (37 and 10) and clowned D-West with that dunk late in the fourth. West will happily walk away with the big W, though. He finished with a season-high 33 points, 7 of which came in the fifth quarter.
  • The Hornets raced out to a 102-95 lead in OT, but almost blew it in the final 16 seconds, when Chris Paul missed a pair of freebies and West bricked one of his own. The gospel according to Byron Scott:

    "We definitely made it interesting. We got our two best free-throw shooters up there (West and Paul) and they go 1-for-4. We keep it pretty exciting for everybody. It drives ME crazy a little bit, but it was still a good win."

  • Despite the late brain fart, CP was again phenomenal: 17 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds on one leg.
  • Devin Brown was also outstanding for the Hornets. He dropped 8-of-13 shots for a career-high-tying 25 points, and grabbed 9 rebounds, too, just for gits and shiggles. He scored 14 in the third quarter.
  • Corey Maggette backed up Brand, scoring 24 points for the Clippers. He also slammed into referee Jess Kersey late in the forth quarter, freeing Devin Brown for a breakaway slam. Maggette's comments postgame:

    "I'm a truck. I felt bad for him … he couldn't get out the way fast enough. Hopefully, he's OK. He's an older guy."

  • Tyson Chandler didn't risk it last night, still suffering from that turf toe (which actually has very little in common with camel toe). When asked about his status, Scott replied  "You know me, I think he's done for the season."


  • ClipperBlog wraps it up from the other side.

Ok, enough foreplay, on to the important stuff…

The win puts us a half game behind the ninth-place Clippers, and a game behind the eighth-place Warriors in the standings. The Hornets pretty much need to win out to give themselves a shot at the postseason, and I'm starting to believe they can go 4-0 the rest of the way. However, 4-0 won't cut it if the Warriors and Clippers don't help us out a bit.

The Warriors have four games left: @Sacramento, Minnesota, Dallas and @Portland. We cannot finish tied with them; they were 3-1 against us this season and therefore hold the tiebreaker. The magic number here is 3. Any combination of Hornet losses or Warrior wins totalling three, and we're cooked. Hopefully they'll split their final four and the Hornets can win out.

The Clippers have five games left: @Lakers, Portland, Sacramento, @Phoenix, and New Orleans. We dropped two games to them earlier in the campaign, so the season series is 1-2 in their favor. The magic number here is 5. Any combination of Clipper wins or Hornet losses totalling five, and we're out. There is a chance we could sneak in with a magic number of 4, but that would come down to tiebreakers. So I guess we'll call 4 a semi-magic number for now.

In conclusion, this is all very complicated and I picked the wrong day to get a migraine. There was a great breakdown of all the possible ways this could shake out posted over on the HR boards yesterday, which probably makes more sense than what just spilled out of my brain.

Essentially though, I think this is the most likely scenario which would see the Hornets make the Playoffs this season:

— Hornets win out, finish at 41-41
— Warriors drop two of their last four, finish at 40-42
— Clippers drop two of their last five, finish at 40-42


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