The Hornets beat the Mavericks

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Published: February 21, 2008

Fun times at the Arena tonight. There was Mikey screaming from the front row of section 303, "Hey Kidd, welcome to the Western Conference!" and a season ticket holder known only as Vern running from a fire exit after the game yelling "Jason Who? Jason Who?"

The Hornets made sure the second Kidd era in Dallas didn't start off too good, beating the Mavericks for the second time in three tries this season. Final score was 104-93, with the Hornets looking to be in control most of the second half. Linkage looks like this: box | recap | standings

Chris Paul slayed the Mavericks

Let's down a burrito and get to some game notes. This may have to be quick… 

  • Simply a masterful performance by Chris Paul tonight, who thoroughly stole the show from Jason Kidd. Paul's line was crazy: 31 points, 11 assists, 9 steals, 5 boards and just a single lonely turnover. He had seven steals in the first half alone, setting a franchise record. I'm not sure I've ever seen a more complete game from the kid.
  • Best part of the game for me was two minutes deep in the fourth quarter, when Kidd almost turned the ball over, but dived on the floor and got it to a teammate. Chris stepped over him on the ground so JK couldn't get up so easily, effectively eliminating the Mavs quarterback from the rest of the play. Sneaky. The Hornets got a stop on that defensive trip, and then Chris went and nailed a three at the other end. The Mavs called timeout and the MVP chants rained down. Awesome.
  • Nice scrappy performance by David West tonight. Not his best night statistically (18 points, 8 boards), but I thought he showed some great hustle down low on both ends of the floor. He got into some foul trouble, picking up his fourth early in the third. Byron Scott elected to leave him in there though, and it worked out pretty good. The Mavs really should have gone after that fifth foul but they didn't get it until midway through the final quarter.
  • We threw a few different defenders at Dirk Nowitzki tonight. It was mostly the trio of Tyson Chandler, Hilton Armstrong and Ryan Bowen if I remember correctly. All of those guys tried pretty hard but couldn't really slow the German. He had it going pretty nice tonight. Not much you can do when he's nailing those baseline fadeaways and dropping home those cross-the-lane runners. Dirk finished with 31 points on 11-21 shooting, adding 8 boards for the hell of it.
  • Was it foggy in the Arena tonight, or was it just me?
  • I thought Tyson looked kinda zapped out there this evening, like he was still sick or something. Just seemed like he had no energy. He dropped a few passes, particularly in the first half, and just wasn't much of a factor offensively at all. He finished with 8 points and 9 boards in 34 minutes.
  • Armstrong got 16 minutes tonight and he made the most of them. He was in there mixing it up a little, giving us some of the energy that Tyson misplaced. I'm still not exactly sure why Melvin Ely has been bumped out of the rotation but the extra PT seems to be working for Hilton.
  • Jason Terry pisses me off, with his little pull up jumpers that rarely miss. He killed us last game in Dallas, too. I see he finished with 14 points on only 6-of-14 shooting, but I can't remember him missing much. Perhaps I should pay closer attention.
  • The halftime show was two Italian dudes who called themselves the Bello Brothers. They come out in tight colorful costumes and do back flips and balancing tricks on top of each other and HOLY SHIT I CAN SEE ASS!! Their asses are showing! On purpose. What is up with that? There's kids in the building. Kids with eyes!
  • Thankfully, David West had that monster dunk at the end of the game to raise the testosterone in the building back to acceptable levels. No more male asses at halftime, okay Hornets?
  • Methinks we caught Dallas at a good time. Not to discredit our guys, but the Mavs were really disjointed out there. It's gonna take Kidd a while to fit in right with them. I'm still not sure that deal will work out great and I think they sacrificed a little too much for a two-year championship window, but expect them to look a lot better by the time the Playoffs get here. Still, I like our chances against them if we do cross paths in the postseason.
  • The crowd was announced as 15,941. I was actually expecting a sellout give how successful the weekend was, but I guess I got greedy. Definitely a good loud crowd anyway. We need to figure out some way to get people in their seats earlier though. It seems folks are still arriving well into the second quarter. Maybe if we told everyone the game started at 6pm, then we'd have the joint full for tip. But then lying is wrong and we'd all burn in hell, so best not do that.
  • George Shinn addressed the crowd before the game, thanking the city for hosting a great All-Star weekend. "We proved that New Orleans is one of the greatest cities in the world," said the rich man.
  • Interesting photo.
  • Bobby Jackson came up big in the game, dropping 17 points off the bench, including 5 threes. Lunatic. Never know what you're gonna get with that cat, and that's even from one possession to the next.

Speaking of Bojangles, there's talk right now of the Hornets offering a package featuring  Jackson to the Rockets in exchange for Bonzi Wells and Mike James. Not sure how I feel about that. I don't think it's really good or really bad. I need to sleep on it methinks. Don't forget that the trade deadline is tomorrow at 2pm Central. Should be an interesting morning.

But back to the game. That was a nice way to start the post-All-Star schedule. Like I said earlier, every game is major right now. The West is so tight that a slip here and there could very well see us out of the Playoffs. Nice to see our guys taking care of business.

Next up are those same Rockets in New Orleans on Friday. They've won nine games in a row as of right now, although their schedule has been kind. They host the Miami Heat tomorrow so we'll catch them on the second night of a back-to-back.

Let's keep it rolling, Hornets. 

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