The Hornets beat the Heat

Published: April 3, 2008

The Hornets played a rather uninspiring three quarters of basketball tonight, but the reserves came in and turned it into a blowout in the fourth quarter, thus ensuring a franchise-best fifth win on the road trip.

Tyson Chandler, liking the Heat beatdown

Half-assed notes for a half-assed performance…

  • Final score was 106-77 ( recap | box score | standings ). The Hornets came out strong and it looked like we might win by a billion, but then we let the Heat chip away with some long bombs and cut the lead to four in the third quarter. Thankfully our reserves were able to turn up the D, and we outscored Miami 32-11 in the final frame to grab win number 52.
  • Julian Wright was a big reason we were able to pull away in the fourth quarter. He played some great defense, both individual and help, got to the foul line a bunch of times, and was able to tear down a heap of rebounds and fire home some jams. He finished with 11 points, a career-high 9 boards (4 offensive), 2 assists and 3 steals in 19 minutes of action. He also avoided turning the ball over and didn't commit a single foul.
  • One thing Julian needs to work on though is following through on his shot when he gets fouled. He got hit at the rim a couple of times tonight and changed his shot to a pass because of the contact. It cost him some free-throws. That said, I was impressed by the more direct route he was taking to the basket. He would see a gap tonight and just tear through it. Nice to see.
  • Tyson Chandler was a beast tonight, hitting all ten of his field goals for 20 points and also adding 10 boards. He took a seat with about five minutes left in the game, and promptly hit himself in the face with a towel. CST were only too happy to show several replays of said incident.
  • Chris Paul was nice. 14 points, 10 assists, 5 boards, 1 turnover. Thankfully, he didn't have to play in the fourth quarter — yeah, he got those numbers in only 30 minutes — which is the way it should be against a team like Miami.
  • All 12 active guys got some burn tonight, and everyone got on the scoreboard. Ryan Bowen made sure of that when he hustled home a free-throw in the final minutes. In all, our bench contributed 33 points. Miami's bench had 32, led by 15 from something they were calling a Blake Ahearn.
  • David West shot 8-of-17 for 22 points. Peja Stojakovic struggled early but knocked down a pair of triples in the fourth quarter. He finished with 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting.
  • Nice job on the boards tonight. Again it was a nice team effort, with a several guys helping to keep the glass clean. The Hornets finished with a 50-40 edge.
  • Of course, all these numbers don't mean much. We were playing the Miami Heat after all. This is a team that gives 20 minutes of PT to chronic open dunk-misser Alexander Johnson.
  • This has to be a mistake, right? The box score states that attendance was 19,122 for the game tonight. That can only be true if 15,000 of those people were invisible.
  • In the house: George, Chad and Denise Shinn, along with Gary Chouest, all sitting down wind of the Hornets bench.
  • 9:48 left in the third quarter and Chris Paul drives and kicks to Peja for the open three. Peja sinks it, giving Paul the 2000th assist of his career. Aw yeah. Bob and Gil noted that only two players in NBA history have racked up 2000 dimes faster than Chris, namely Oscar Robertson and Kevin Johnson.
  • Play of the game? Loads to choose from. Tyson and JuJu both caught some funky lobs, but I'll go with West's drive and throw down on some unknown Heat player two minutes before halftime. That was vicious.

I'll leave the bullets there, because I have to hustle out to the airport to greet them boys back from one helluva road trip. If anyone wants to join us, get at me asap via email ( ron [at] hornets247 [dot] com ).

Hornets back at it on Friday at the Arena against the Knicks. Looking forward to it.

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