The Hornets beat the Warriors

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Published: January 5, 2008

As I'm writing this, that movie The Hulk is on USA, and I'm thinking that dude has nothing on Tyson Chandler, who had himself a game against the Warriors tonight.

Dateless again, I had nothing better to do than stay in and take some notes…

Peja was hot early


First Quarter

Rookie Brandan Wright, taken eighth in last year's draft, gets the first start of his young career, taking Al Harrington's usual spot. Joining him for the tip are Stephen Jackson, Andris Biedrins, Monta Ellis and a chap named Baron Davis. The Hornets start out with the usual five.

So Jackson starts out guarding West, and the Hornets look for him right away. West picks up an offensive foul first try, but makes up for it with three the old-fashioned way next trip. At the other end, Baron goes right at Chris Paul, backing him down and scoring an easy two.

9:30 – Peja and CP drop triples around a long brick from Baron.

7:01 – The Warriors take a timeout. Morris Peterson has 6 points already. We're getting a few stops and converting in transition. 17-11 lead. Nice start so far.

Out of the timeout, Al Harrington checks in and bangs a three. Peja likes that idea so much he goes for one of his own at the other end.

2:33 – Tyson gets a sweet feed off the pick and roll with Bobby Jackson. 33-23 Hornets. This is great fun, Hornets scoring almost every trip. G-State are playing their usual game, but the long bombs ain't dropping for them and that makes all the difference.

2:15 – Out of a Hornets timeout, Ryan Bowen checks in for the first time since November 23rd. Good to have you back, man. The Warriors, obviously wise to Bowen's dominance in the paint, decide to go zone for a while.

1:18 – Peja cans another one from deep, give him 11 points already. Next break, Marcus Vinicius comes off the bench, replacing Peja, and immediately gets himself a lane violation on Al Harrington's free throws.

Interesting five on court now for the Hornets: Paul, West, Jackson, Bowen and Vinicius.

0:44 – V corner 3! Oh baby! That's his first triple of the season, and the Hornets are up 39-27.

The first quarter ends with no more buckets. A dream start for the Hornets. 39 points might be their best offensive output in a period this season. It can't last tho, can it?

Second Quarter

Hornets: Pargo, V, Jax, Bowen, West.
Warriors: Ellis, Harrington, Other Jax, Baron, Barnes.

Warriors back to man D this quarter. Hornets start out great. Defense scrappy but effective. Tyson checks back in early for West.

9:45 – Warriors back to that zone. Actually, they switch up the D a lot this quarter.

8:06 – Tyson gets up-faked by Harrington, and ends up kicking the ball out of his hands before hitting the floor hard. He's shook up but stays in the game.

6:38 – CP checks back in with the Hornets up 46-36.We were -2 without him, which ain't bad at all.

6:18 – Pargo comes up with a nifty steal and gets it to Peja on the break, but Mickael Pietrus mega-blocks Peja's lay-in attempt. Baron gets an easy two at the other end. 14pts for that dude.

4:20 – Tyson puts home and impressive tip in. 8 points and 9 boards for him already, but another drive and score by BD at the other end makes it a 4-point game.

2:53 – Call it a 16-2 run by Golden State. 50-48 they lead after Stephen Jackson drops a three in transition over Mo-Pete. The crowd is in it as Byron calls for time.

Out of the timeout, the Hornets run some picks to get West in good post position. He takes it inside and gets the foul on Jackson.

2:22 – Jackson sets a pick on Chris Paul out high, and Baron runs off it and straight down the lane untouched for a flush. That was terrible defense by Peterson, not flashing on the pick, and pretty bad by everyone else for not clogging the lane.

CP looks like he's getting sick of Baron's scoring frenzy, and comes right back at him twice. First he tosses in a tough off-balance layup, then gets fouled and earns two from the line next trip.

0:57 – Tyson doesn't quit on an offensive rebound. Legend. He gets fouled by Pietrus eventually, and drops both resulting free throws. He now has 10 points and 11 rebounds. What quarter is this again? 56-54 Hornets lead.

0:01 – It's Jackson vs. Jackson out high as the quarter winds down. Their guy backs our guy to the free throw line, turns and shoots with a hand in his grill. The defense is plenty, and Vincius gets fouled on the rebound. To the line. Splits. 58-56 Hornets heading into the break.

Not a bad quarter considering the Warriors big run. We somehow managed to score 19 points, although we gave up 29.

Tyson Chandler is tougher than you

Halftime Thoughts

  • Byron is smart to play the bench more this game, with Phoenix looming tomorrow night. The reserves haven't let him down so far either. It's good to have Bowen back. Oh, and those four points by Vinicius match his career-high.
  • I'm guessing most Warriors games are like this. They go on a run, the other team goes on a run. Back and forth. They don't seem to have a go-to play when they really need a bucket. For example, the Hornets can feed West inside and let him work, or else set a pick for Chris and let him do one of seven million things to get a score. I don't see that so much with the Warriors. When they hit a drought, they seem to keep playing the same carefree way they do when they're up a dozen.
  • Tyson has been awesome. West is getting his despite the fact that the Warriors whole defensive plan seems to be focused on stopping him. CP looked to be getting into it, trying to take over. Peja started hot, but failed to score in the second quarter. A nice balanced attack overall though.
  • Baron has been unstoppable so far, playing to his strengths, not launching too much, going to the hole. He's played all 24 minutes so far, and is on pace for a big night offensively, with 20 points already. Chris needs better help defending him. Pargo is about the only Hornet who's trying to get in there and take a stand when BD comes through the lane.
  • I was just kidding about being dateless earlier. I actually had three hot chicks call me up and ask me out tonight, but one was a Jazz fan and the other two haven't voted for Chris Paul as an All-Star. Sluts.
  • The Warriors are the worst rebounding team in the League, giving up about 48 every night to their opponents. I can see why. They have NO ONE crashing the offensive boards. As soon as they get a shot up, it's as if everyone turns their back and heads to the other end of the floor. I noticed a few occasions where all five Hornets were inside the three-point line on D when the ball came off the rim, and not one Warrior was inside the arc.

Third Quarter

G-State starts out in a wide zone. Mo-Pete squeezes up a three, and Tyson uses all that space in the middle as a runway to take off for a vicious put back. Wow.

9:36 – CP picks Jackson clean, breaks, drops it back to Peterson, who drops it back to Tyson, who gets a shot up despite being fouled. The ball hangs out on the rim for a minute before falling through. We lead 65-56, with the Warriors scoreless so far this quarter.

9:15 – West gets busy inside, spinning through a double team, faking a couple more in the air, and banking it in for two. Al Harrington travels at the other end.

8:23 – Chris gets another steal off a bad kick from Baron, finds Peja on the wing, 3 ball down. 12-0 run this quarter has us up 14. Timeout Warriors.

Out of it, the home team runs a nice play that results in Biedrins finishing an oop from Jackson.

6:30 – Golden State are just chucking up jumpers now. Their last three shots have been from 20 feet or beyond, and none were close. Meanwhile, the Hornets are scoring at will, which is nice.

4:22 – The Warriors have finally figured it out and are now shooting close to the basket. Methinks they've scored on four consecutive trips, and our lead is down to 8.

3:47 – Tyson grabs his 18th rebound.

3:31 – West to the line, after drawing a fourth foul on Stephen Jackson. He hits both free throws, giving him 18 points tonight. Killing it. I can't say enough about West's play of late. He's on a different level offensively these days, and I can't imagine anyone being able to stop him with the variety of moves he's got working.

3:23 – CP picks up his fourth foul trying to take the charge on Biedrins. He stays in the game for now. Other way, West converts again. That makes it at least 20 points for him in seven straight games. 13-point lead.

2:27 – BD tips away a CP pass, then tries to save it in bounds by throwing off Chris. But the young fella is wise to them tricks and just grabs it back and goes to the rack. He tries an oop to Tyson, but the big man gets fouled.

1:50 – CP is finally on the bench, but the Hornets keep rolling. Tyson reconstructs a Bobby Jackson miss to give him 20 rebounds and 17 points. Surely he can't be real. 85-72 Hornets.

1:09 – That pesky Biedrens gets another dunk. He has 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting. Peja answers with 3 and a hand in his face. I think that's 23 points for Stojakovic.

The Hornets finish the quarter all nice, as Tyson tips an offensive rebound to Pargo for two. We've equalled our largest lead of the night: 90-74.

Fourth Quarter

Hornets: Pargo, Jackson, Bowen, Peja, Tyson.
Warriors: Biedrins, Baron, Jackson, Pietrus, Harrington.

Right out of the gate, Biedrins scores again from close range, and G-State's zone earns them a stop at the other end.

10:18 – Stephen Jackson works on his nice-guy image, throwing a half-assed elbow at Bowen for no particular reason. You don't want to do that, Stephen. Ryan's last name is almost an exact anagram of elbow, and that's no coincidence. Bum knee or not, he'll kick your ass.

9:15 – Infraction Jackson blows by Peja and scores. Try and play him into help, please Mr. Stojakovic. Our lead is down to 10, and Byron calls time. CP gets back in.

8:39 – West gets faked out bad by Harrington and lands hard on his own ass. He's down for the count. He's still on the ground after an ad break, as Gil talks about "the meaty part of his buttocks." West eventually gets up and walks off the court under his own power. He takes an uncomfortable looking seat on the bench.

8:23 – Harrington drops a fastbreak layup. 6-point game. CP comes back with a tough reply, but Biedrins answers. I hate that guy.

It's a bruised hip for West according to Jordy.

7:08 – Chris displays crazy handles to score in the lane against 17 defenders. He helps get a stop at the other end, comes down, crosses into lane and throws a bullet pass to Tyson, who catches and jams in one motion. Plus the foul. Spine chills.

We're back up 10 after Tyson completes the trifecta, and Baron comes down and bricks one. The crowd is quiet as Chris find Mo-Pete in the corner for three.

101-88 Hornets.

5:25 – Same thing: Chris to Peterson for another corner three. This time, Harrington answers.

Next trip, we get two offensive rebounds and drain the clock. The longest offense in the history of the world ends with CP nailing a 20-footer over Biedrins on the switch.

2:50 – Chris splits two out high, gets swiped at by the other three, and still makes the bucket. And 1. That was special. The Warriors look deflated. Chris has just scored 7 straight points. The lead grows back to 14 after the free throw.

2:15 – Ryan Bowen grabs one more offensive rebound, and Morris Peterson scores one more from three. This one's no longer in doubt.

1:26 – As I wonder why Byron Scott still has Tyson and Chris in the game, CP cuts in the lane and throws up a no-look lob to Chandler. The finish is SICK. I don't think Tyson really had to cock the ball back that far, and it probably wasn't entirely necessary for him to stare down the crowd after he landed.

Actually, on second thought, that was all for the best.

CP earns the love

Postgame Thoughts

So the final score was 116-104. It was an absolute pleasure to watch. I don't think our starters all played so well in the same game before. Four of them scored 20+ and Mo-Pete had 15. The bench didn't do a lot of scoring, but they brought the energy and gave our big guns some much-needed rest for tomorrow. Byron sat Rasual and JuJu again, but whatever works.

Baron Davis killed us in the first half, but then scored only six points after the break. I'm not sure how much of that was caused by our improved defense. Biedrins and Harrington combined for 44 points on 18-of-23 shooting, but beyond that the Warriors didn't have much tonight.

Of course, the cloud hanging over this win is David West's ass bruise. I think he's more hurt than injured, but history tells us his recovery time is best measured in dog years. I think that was Byron Scott saying postgame that West would probably sit out the Suns game tomorrow, but hopefully he'll be back for the Lakers in New Orleans on Wednesday.

Leaving you with the linkage: box | recap | standings

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