The Hornets beat the Warriors

Published: April 7, 2008

The Hornets done won another one today, getting revenge on that same Golden State Warriors team that stole a victory at the Arena back in January. A sellout crowd was in attendance to see the vengeance, and they roared their approval as the Hornets won their 11th straight at home and tied a franchise record with their 54th victory of the season.

Peja Stojakovic burned the Warriors

Notes from section 305…

  • Final score was 108-96. Linkage: recap | box score | standings
  • The Warriors started fast, and led 31-22 after the first quarter. They had Stephen Jackson guarding Chris Paul, Baron Davis guarding Morris Peterson, and Monta Ellis guarding Peja Stojakovic. For whatever reason, we didn't exploit the Peja-Monta match-up too good, instead opting to turn the ball over six times in the period.
  • The second quarter was a massive turnaround, as the Hornets outscored the Warriors 37-20. Jannero Pargo came in trigger-happy and had it working to lead us back from a 12-point deficit. Pargo scored all 15 of his points in the period, knocking down 5-of-7 from the field.
  • Last play of the half, Chris Paul got deep in the lane and fired a pass out to Peja in the corner. Stojakovic beat the shot clock and the game clock to put the Hornets up 8 at the break.
  • The third quarter was pretty even, with Monta killing us and Peja killing them. Our help on the penetration was pretty bad all night, and Monta feasted on open drives to the hoop. He finished the game with 35 points on 17-of-26 shooting. 13 of his 17 makes came inside the paint.
  • Luckily, the Warriors were missing badly from deep today. They finished just 3-of-29 from three-point range. The Hornets did a pretty good job of not giving up many open looks out there.
  • The fourth quarter saw us blow a nice lead by giving up 12 straight points to the Warriors. Then David West got back in the game and dropped 9 points in a 17-4 Hornets run which pretty much sealed the win.
  • Surprise, surprise: Chris Paul was magnificent. Again. This time he threw together a triple-double (16 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds) and had 5 steals to cancel out 5 turnovers. The MVP chants were louder than ever after he stole one from Baron Davis and finished at the other end to put us back up by double digits in the fourth quarter, prompting a G-State timeout. The crowd was so loud coming out of that timeout that I had goosebumps the size of golf balls.
  • Golden State played a zone for most of the fourth quarter, and it was working pretty well for them until West got back in the game and helped stretch it a bit. The Warriors then started turning the ball over and just couldn't hit a shot to save their lives. They were 3-of-14 from the field in the final eight minutes.
  • Andris Biedrins played well against us again. Dude had 17 points and 15 rebounds. Back on January 4th he dropped 20 and 9 on the Hornets, then got 14 and 7 in just 19 minutes at the Arena on January 30th. He got a lot of his buckets today off the pick and roll, which Tyson Chandler seemed to have a problem defending.

    Biedrins also gave us problems at the other end of the floor. He was coming across to double the post no matter who we had down there. That didn't give West much room to operate early, and Tyson couldn't take advantage of the extra space he was afforded because, well, he's not much of a threat unless he's right at the rim.

    Luckily, we were hitting our jump shots in this one, so we didn't have to resort to West trying to battle double teams in the post.

  • Nature Boy Ric Flair was in the building, and he took center court in a big mad robe to do the player introductions before the game. It went something like this: "At whoo! guard whoo! six whoo! foot whoo! from whoo! Wake whoo! Forest whoo! Chris whoo! Paul whoo!"
  • Peja was huge for us in this one. He seemed to knock down a big shot whenever the Warriors made a run, hence crushing their souls. He finished with 25 points on 9-of-20 shooting.
  • The Warriors average 110.6 points per game.
  • Solid contributions from the bench today. As mentioned, Pargo was electric in the second quarter when he got us back in the game almost single-handedly. He didn't score at all beyond that, but did contribute 7 assists and 4 boards in 29 minutes.

    Bonzi Wells played 20 minutes, compared to 15 minutes for Mo Pete. Wells gave us a bit of everything as usual, finishing with 8 points, 3 boards, 3 dimes and 2 steals.

    Julian Wright gave us 3 points and 2 assists in 10 minutes, and played pretty solid D on Baron Davis in the second quarter. BD was hot in the first, hitting four of his first five despite being booed every time he touched the ball. He finished with 17 points, 8 assists, 3 steals and 4 turnovers in 43 minutes.

    Hilton Armstrong got nine minutes of burn but didn't give us much out there. He got called for a charge and a blocking foul within a minute in the first quarter. Both were good calls, and the second foul resulted in a three-point play for Biedrins.

  • I'm amazed that West finished with 25 points. I didn't think he could sneak up on me like that anymore. The Warriors did a great job limiting his touches in the first half. They had Al Harrington fronting him to make the feed tough, and then Biedrins helping from across the lane. Not much West could do against that, but he kept his cool and waited for the gaps to appear. He shot a pretty damn fine 12-of-18 from the floor, making his final nine shots of the game.
  • Tyson got better defensively as the game went on. He started hedging on those picks a bit better and the Warriors couldn't find their big man rolling to the basket as easily. Chandler finished with another double-double, scoring 12 and grabbing 11.

    He did have two incredibly bad plays in the second quarter though. He tried to inbound after a basket by Ellis, and had the pass stolen by the same dude. Luckily, Baron bricked a three-pointer and Tyson grabbed the board, but then had his outlet stolen again by Ellis. Clumsy.

  • Lots of giveaways at the Hive for this one. People were going nuts for the Chris Paul bobbleheads on the way in. They had said that only 10,000 were available, but I thought that was just a ploy to get asses in seats early. Perhaps not though, as the dolls seemed to be few and far between by the time I got out of the concrete beer garden and into the Arena. In the end I had to beat down a fat kid and push an old lady out of the way to get my bobblehead, then suffered through the disappointment when I discovered the damn thing didn't look much like CP. But then I got to thinking how I saved the fat kid and the old lady from that disappointment, and I felt pretty good about myself again.
  • Halftime show: Times-Picayune baby crawl. Funny like a clown.
  • Play of the game: How about that lob from Chris Paul with about four minutes left in the second quarter? No, Tyson didn't catch it and crush one. Instead, the pass ended up being a little more accurate than CP had planned and rattled through the hoop unaided. Twas nice.
  • At the Hive on the ABC coverage…

    Not only did they feature the Hornets' giveaways, they did a segment on Peja's "Fave 5" long-range shooters at halftime (Bird, Miller, Allen, Dirk… and himself). They did a second halftime feature on David West and his boyhood days in Teaneck, NJ. That one, albeit short, was also really cool. Finally, their WIRED segments captured some awesome stuff, courtesy of CP3: "Come on Coach, please, if I need one I'll take myself out, please coach, I swear I'll take myself out" and "Come on David! Coach! David and Peja, why're they on the bench? They're in zone, we need shooters."

  • Among Jim Eichenhofer's five observations

    Paul made an interesting point about his career triple-doubles after the game, saying that it's much harder for him to get the rebounds he needs since Tyson Chandler joined the team. Don't be mistaken, it's not that CP was complaining. If you look at his stats, you can see what he means: As a rookie before Chandler was on the club, Paul averaged a career-best 5.1 boards a game. Last season, he was at 4.4, while entering Sunday his 2007-08 rebounding average was 3.9. Paul said playing against Golden State increases his chances of getting double-digit boards, because the Warriors take so many perimeter shots that are more likely to result in long rebounds that a guard like Paul can track down.

So another job well done by the Hornets. I was worried ahead of this one because the Warriors really needed the win. They didn't look that hungry throughout though. The result puts them a half game behind Denver for the eight spot in the West, and with the Nuggets playing the Sonics later, that gap could stretch.

Also losing today were the Phoenix Suns, who scored a whopping 9 points in the fourth quarter to blow a 13-point lead to the visiting Mavericks. Meanwhile, the Spurs beat the Blazers to keep within 1.5 games of the Hornets. Tonight, the Lakers are in Sacramento and the Rockets are in LA to face the Clippers.

Next up for the Hornets are the Utah Jazz, who come to New Orleans on Tuesday. Those guys are just 16-22 on the road this season, but they did get wins in Boston and Phoenix last month.

Alright, I'm done. Sandwich time.

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