The Warriors beat the Hornets

Published: January 31, 2008

3:21 left in the game tonight, the Hornets trailing by nine points. Baron Davis pulls up and sinks a long three over Jannero Pargo and Chris Paul. As folks start heading for the exits, I scribble down four words in my notes…

Baron. Deep. Salt. Wounds.

Chris Paul vs. Baron Davis

This game was strange in many ways. Firstly, we lost, which I didn't think was possible anymore. Those Hornets really had me spoiled for a while there. Second, the Chris Paul / Baron Davis showdown was almost the reverse of what we saw in Oakland earlier this month. That game, BD went off in the first half, while CP was the man down the stretch. This time, it was Chris doing all sorts of fantasticness in the first half, but Baron was there at the end with the daggers.

It was also strange to see Adam Haluska in warmups rather than a suit, but that's neither here nor there.

On to some game notes, sprinkled with significantly less exuberance than we've grown accustomed to…

  • Final score was 116-103. Linkage: box | recap | standings
  • Morris Peterson sat this one out with a viral infection, while Melvin Ely was limited to four minutes of action due to a respiratory infection. Mo-Pete's absence especially hurt. The defensive rotation was way off on quite a few occasions, most noticeably in the fourth quarter when the Warriors got some easy buckets from guys cutting through the lane untouched. Methinks the road to the rim wouldn't have been quite so smooth for G-State with Peterson in there.
  • That said, I don't think we could have beat these guys tonight even with everyone healthy. When they're hitting, there's not a hell of a lot you can do. Our offense was scattered but we still put 103 points on the board, enough to win each of our previous nine games by at least ten points. We had our lapses on the defensive end, but for the most part the Warriors just couldn't miss. They shot 52% from the field, including 13-of-27 from three. Stephen Jackson knocked down 10-of-16 from the field, and maybe only two of them were open looks.
  • Great enthusiasm from the crowd at this one. 14,410 was the official attendance, about a thousand less than Monday, but everyone got into it. There were frequent chants (mostly "DE-FENSE," go figure), the halftime Mardi Gras parade went down well, and folks were just having a blast in general. Our guys got a nice ovation from those left in the stands when it was all over. The Hornets played hard tonight, and the effort did not go unappreciated.
  • Sticking with attendance for a minute, I mentioned after last game that it really feels like this thing is building, and it's telling that tonight's game drew about 2,400 more folks than last Wednesday's game against the Blazers.
  • Of course, Baron got booed. Loud and often. It was fun and everything, but then I got thinking about JR Smith. He didn't get it nearly as bad on Monday, and that guy did pretty much nothing of any significance as a Hornet, on or off the court. What was the highlight of his tenure in teal? Probably that behind the back jam in the dunk contest, right?

    Meanwhile, Baron's career as a Hornet featured back-to-back triple doubles in the Playoffs and consecutive trips to the Conference semis. But more than that, he did a lot of good in the community here in New Orleans, and still does apparently. His words postgame…

    "It was pretty loud when they were booing, but I heard some people cheering and it's good to see some familiar faces and people rooting me on, telling me they appreciate everything I've done for the community. I still come back in the summertime. I just don't let people know I'm here. I still do things in the community, help people that were torn apart from Hurricane Katrina. I still have close ties to this city. I love this city. I think it was a great city before Hurricane Katrina and it will continue to be a great city afterward."

    I was expecting to hear Baron take a shot at George Shinn or Byron Scott right there, or just somehow flash a big middle finger at everyone who booed him tonight. But he didn't. Gotta respect that.

  • Of course, I'd still much rather have Chris Paul running my team than Baron Davis, and it will always be sweet beating G-State so long as BD is there. That's just how it goes.
  • I figure Andris Biedrins was key for the Warriors tonight. He only played 19 minutes, but his rebounding and defense helped the visitors pull away in the end. He killed us last time we played the Warriors, too.
  • Anyone know if that lady from Oklahoma City comes to the games anymore? You know; that noisy free-throw lady. Anyone?
  • Tyson Chandler had a tough time defensively tonight. He's always bothered by guys who can shoot, and Al Harrington was draining threes in this one. Tyson doesn't much like following a guy out that far. I did notice something nice and new from our pivot tonight though. Late in the second quarter, he was having trouble getting offensive position in the post against Biedrins, so he faked a spin baseline as if he was going to turn and catch an alley-oop. Biedrins was so afraid of that potential lob that he backed off to cover it and Tyson was able to repost and get an easy feed. Not sure what came of that possession, but I found that part interesting.
  • I thought Jannero Pargo played great defense on Monta Ellis until about midway through the second quarter. JP was hustling his ass off and frustrating the hell out of the Warriors' guard, but then that whole matchup just shifted completely in Ellis' favor, and he started getting open looks and fastbreak opportunities. Still not sure how that flipped so drastically.
  • The Warriors made David West work hard. He had to scrap for every one of his 24 points, 13 rebounds and 5 blocks (wow!). I thought G-State did a great job defending him. They mostly let one guy take him in the post (usually Biedrins or Matt Barnes), then sent a bunch of help whenever West would spin into the lane. Worked pretty good. Also, for some reason we didn't run that pick and fade with West and CP so much. I can only recall one or two Fluffy jumpers.
  • I thought our passing could have been much better tonight. In the fourth quarter, the gameplan seemed to involve Chris Paul dribbling in and out of the lane until the shot clock was running empty, then rush to get a shot off. The ball movement just wasn't as good as previous games. Not so much feed the post, kick to the corner, swing it around, find someone open at the other side, make the net go splash.
  • Be sure to check out Golden State of Mind later, as they'll surely be wrapping this one up from the other side.

Anyways, you can't get mad when the other team is simply better than you on the night. We had four guys finish with double-doubles (including 20-10 for Peja!), and nine times out of ten that will get us an easy win. Guess we'll have to wait for the Kings in Sacramento on Friday to start another streak and get Byron in the All-Star game.

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