The Hornets beat the Suns

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Published: February 7, 2008

The magic is back, baby.

The three game slide sobered us all up and made us forget that buzz the Hornets have been delivering so much this season, but tonight's game in Phoenix was probably the best bundle of funkiness yet.

Peja, FOR THE WIN!

I can barely form a coherent thought right now because my brain has never before been through such a range of emotions in such a short space of time. Best jump right to bullet mode…

  • Final score was 132-130 after double overtime. Linkage: box | recap | standings
  • I'll get to the individuals in a minute, but I think the whole team needs to be commended for coming out and refusing to roll over in this one. The effort was back to a more familiar level, something that wasn't apparent during the losing streak. The defensive rotation was significantly better, even though we did end up giving Phoenix too many open looks down the (long) stretch. For me though, those few momentary lapses can't cancel out a night of awesome hustle on the defensive end. Phoenix are an offensive juggernaut and we did a solid job.
  • Peja Stojakovic was unbelievable even before he hit that last shot and sent me crashing to my living room floor in pure elation. I loved how we were looking for him all game, running him off picks and trying to get him open looks right from the first quarter. He created his own shot quite a few times tonight, too, more than we're accustomed to seeing.
  • But back to the final shot. Absolutely amazing. He shot that thing almost back over his shoulder at the basket, having faked Amare Stoudemire a little and turning back the other way. Impossible shot. There's no way he should hit that. But he did, and that's why we pay him the mega bucks.
  • We put the ball in Chris Paul's hands twice to win it tonight, and he missed both times. However, 42 points, 9 assists, 8 steals, 5 rebounds and just one turnover tells you the guy's still on some MVP type shit. Way to bounce back from the Utah game, Chris.
  • Jannero Pargo was our third hero in this one. He's been killing if consistently for a while now. Tonight he delivered pull-up jumpers, clutch free throws, and even an insane out-of-control layup late in the first overtime. Never scared.
  • I was a little disappointed with David West and Bobby Jackson again tonight, but they definitely came up with some big plays and helped us get the win. Offensively, I think West is doing his best to cope with the double teams he's now seeing. He's forcing some shots, but I believe he'll learn to adjust and be effective at that end again before too long. Defensively however, he's still making me slap myself in disbelief. Prime example: That wide open Nash three to send it to a second overtime was a result of West not helping when his man picked Pargo out high. West followed a cutter down the lane instead, even though we were up three and knew Phoenix had to have a three.

    As for Bobby, he had a tough night trying to slow the quick guards of the Suns. Barbosa in particular burned him up. I thought Bojangles played better as the game progressed though, and he closed out on the shooters pretty well in the end.

  • The Hornets have now won 13 straight overtime games, the longest such streak in NBA history. I think Rasual Butler may be working on the longest streak of missed jumpers in NBA history, but we won't talk about that.
  • Gotta give the Suns credit for dragging this one out. They really made us earn it. I thought we had it won a dozen different times and they'd come back and get a bucket. Still don't get the Shaq thing, but that's neither here nor there.
  • Speaking of, it would have been interesting if Shaq had been healthy and suited up for this one. Welcome to Phoenix, big man. Now get out there and give us 55 minutes.
  • Hilton Armstrong. Sigh. I love the kid, but he kills me. For every nice move he makes, he delivers another two that have you shaking your head and wondering why the hell we gave up on Brandon Bass for this. He really had his hands full tonight with Amare. Tough cover. Head up, Hilton. I'm rooting for you, man.
  • Oh hey, practice is canceled tomorrow because the game ran late, and Adam Haluska wore black pants tonight.
  • Wow. I can't recall a single play involving Morris Peterson in this one. He played 19 minutes and finished with 2 points. Byron went to a small lineup of Paul, Pargo, Jackson, West and Peja for most of crunch time, and that worked pretty good.
  • You know who really lost tonight? Everyone on the Northshore who couldn't watch the game because of the Cox-Charter dispute. And because they lost, the Hornets lost. How could you watch that game and not have the urge to go see one in person? We might have to start with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch to get this damn TV thing settled.

So the win tonight was big and massive and altogether huge. Not only did it break the infertility spell cast upon us by Deron William's witch doctor, but it also means we now own the tiebreaker with Phoenix and we remain neck and neck with Dallas in the standings. Just like a sneeze only better.

A billion more that can be said after this game, but I'll have to count on you fine readers to fill in the blanks in the comments. It's wicked late and I have to move back some furniture.

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