The Hornets beat the Suns

Published: February 28, 2008

So we lose to the Wizards on Monday, then trounce the Suns on Wednesday. Ah yes, welcome to the NBA my friends, where everything makes about as much sense as a bottle of pizza.

Chris Paul after the Suns beatdown

Tonight the Hornets completed a season sweep of the Suns, winning by a score of 120-103 ( box | recap | standings ). It was a wonderful game, full of passing and dribbling, shooting and scoring, and even the odd spot of rebounding. People cheered, people danced, people almost peed their pants. It was a fine place to be.

Nice and toasty game notes…

  • We were firing on all cylinders for this one, with no less than six players scoring in double figures. Morris Peterson even followed up his nice game on Monday by dropping all five of his shots for 11 points in 19 minutes of action.
  • Despite giving up 103 points tonight, I thought our defense was pretty solid. We got our asses back and held the Suns to just 12 fast-break points, limited their open looks from the perimeter, and did a nice job clogging the lane when dudes like Barbosa came tearing through. It was a good team effort.
  • David West had himself a helluva time out there. Looks like the Suns forgot to watch themselves some game tape, because they either sent a half-assed double team at West tonight, or they didn't double him at all. D-Weezy responded with 25 points in the first 30 minutes of game time, and finished with 27 points on 11-of-22 shooting. He only had four rebounds, but then…
  • Tyson Chandler grabbed himself 15 boards and threw in 12 points for some of that delicious boxscore balance. He did get in foul trouble again (21 personals in four games now, TC), and he still seems more focused on arguing calls than playing the game, but he got the job done tonight. Here's hoping he's turned the corner and that slump is behind him.
  • Shining brighter than anyone else out there tonight was Christopher Emmanuel Paul. He was like the sun, and all the other guys were like planets orbiting around him, except imagine the sun is the smallest thing in the solar system, and all the planets are bigger and have more tattoos. Yeah, that's exactly what it was like.

    CP finished with 25 points, 15 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 of those steal things that the opposing players dislike so much.

  • Ever the sadist though, there was me watching Chris score at will in the fourth quarter, and wondering why the hell he didn't have that attacking mentality with him on Monday when we really needed it.

    I hate to question anything after a big win, but it's just amazing the difference in Paul and the Hornets these last two games. It confuses my brain and my mind.

  • So Steve Nash was scoreless until midway through the third quarter. He finished with 8 points, 13 assists and 4 turnovers. It's not the first time he's struggled against us this season, and I'm not sure exactly what the Hornets are doing to throw him off. Any ideas?
  • A big key to the win tonight was preventing any serious Suns runs. I think the most consecutive points they reeled off in this one was like 6 or 7. I'm no expert on these guys, but I believe the usually crank out at least a couple of double-digit runs every game. They looked pretty disheartened after we killed their 4-0 run to start the fourth quarter, then started getting a little physical and throwing some cheap shots. Kinda like we did against Houston last Friday.
  • Also reminiscent of that Rocks game was all the starters on the floor with three minutes left and the game long decided. I fail to see the logic there, Byron. I want an explanation on my desk by tomorrow morning.
  • Nice job by the bench tonight. We had five reserves in there to start the second quarter, while the Suns left in a couple of starters (Shaq and Grant Hill). Jannero Pargo took on most of the scoring load, while everyone else fought tooth and nail on defense. By the time we got some starters back out there, we hadn't lost any ground.
  • Peja dropped 6-of-12 for 17 points. Can anyone remember the last time he and Mo-Pete both shot at least fifty percent from the field in the same game? Wasn't Michael Bolton real popular back then?
  • Play of the game, no doubt: Three minutes and change left in the second quarter, and Pargo comes up with a steal, gets it to CP, and a fast-break is born. Chris runs the middle, with Pargo and Peja seemingly the only available targets as they run the wings. Neither guy gets it, as CP instead drops it back to a trailing Chandler. TC rises up and throws down a Dwight Howard-like superman dunk, except he actually dunks the damn thing. Amare Stoudamire chose to get out of the way, and he chose well.
  • The crowd went apeshit for that jam. The game was sold out, with attendance announced as 17,931. Nice and loud those folks were. So so nice to have the Hornets play like that in front of a sell out crowd. A flat performance like Monday would not have gone down well.
  • Amare's line tonight: 32 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks.
  • Some dude wearing #43 came in the game for the Suns and matched up against David West late in the first quarter. I didn't know who the hell he was, and neither did the self-proclaimed "diehard" Suns fans beside me. He wasn't even listed in the game program. A minute later though they showed his mug on the big screen, and it was none other than the mug of Mr. Linton Johnson, he who played his college ball at Tulane and spent some quality time in Byron Scott's doghouse back in OKC.

    LJ III is on a ten-day with the Suns, but played 24 minutes out there tonight. He spent most of the second half trying to slow Chris Paul, which didn't work out too good.

  • Speaking of former Hornets, Robert Pack (he from way back) was in the building. They announced him as "former New Orleans Hornet Robert Pack," because that whole Charlotte thing never happened.
  • Almost forgot: Bonzi sat this one out. I guess that Achilles is still hurting. Hopefully it's nothing too serious, because Pargo can't drop 22 off the bench every night.
  • Bright Side of the Sun wrap it up from the other side.

So that was a nice win. Next up we've got the Jazz in New Orleans on Friday, on national TV no less. But we'll talk all about that in due time. Right now, I'm gonna go to bed happy that the Hornets are still capable of playing some damn fine basketball.

[Update] Interesting breakdown of Nash's defensive struggles last night from The X's and O's of Basketball.

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