The Hornets beat the Timberwolves

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Published: April 10, 2008

The Hornets bounced back from their loss to the Jazz yesterday by blowing out the T-Wolves in Minneapolis tonight. Everybody say thanks to the nice schedule for giving us a punch bag.

Chris Paul rips one away from Craig Smith

Let's dive into some notes…

  • Final score was 122-90 ( recap | box score | standings ). The Hornets sucked defensively for the game's first six minutes, allowing the T-Wolves to get hot. Then our guys clamped down on D but Minnesota kept hitting. It was a two-point game at the half. Third quarter, and the Hornets turned on the afterburners, leaving the T-Wolves in the dust.
  • Chris Paul went without a field goal in the first half for the second night in a row, missing all four shots while dishing 7 assists. He stepped it up after the break though, and finished with 19 points, 16 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 turnover.

    Still, he did play pretty bad yesterday, so there's no way he should be MVP or even all-NBA. Not only that, but the League should also take back his All-Star spot and give Deron Williams the 2006 Rookie of the Year trophy. Because, you know, Chris should only be judged on how he plays against Utah. Nothing else matters.

  • Pretty much everyone played great tonight, actually, as they damn well should against a team like Minnesota. Peja was hot from deep and also sneaked inside for some easy ones. David West was smooth, shooting 10-of-13 from the field and flowing around the defense. Tyson Chandler was running well and finished a bunch of oops from CP. Morris Peterson played limited minutes again but he was effective on both ends.
  • The bench was also solid tonight. They scored 36 points, compared to 33 by the T-Wolves' reserves (23 by Rashad McCants alone).

    Julian Wright was great, his best game in a few weeks methinks. He was doing a bit of everything out there; rebounding, starting the break, finishing the break, playing sticky defense and spacing the floor pretty good. Hilton Armstrong got in there for 13 minutes and didn't end up with big numbers (2 points, 1 rebound). I thought he D'd up Al Jefferson pretty good though, and he took a nice charge early in the fourth. He's been looking better lately. He usually gets caught out of position a few times every game, but not so much these past few.

  • Jannero Pargo had a really rough night shooting before he dropped a few late. He might have been our only guy struggling for most of the game.
  • It was touching to see Melvin Ely reunited with his long lost twin tonight. He and Chris Richard must have a lot of catching up to do.
  • Randy Foye went off on us early, dropping four threes in the first quarter and going into halftime with 18 points. Then he stopped and thought to himself, "Wait a minute, I'm Randy Foye. What the f**k am I doing scoring 18 points in a half?" After that little inner monologue, order was restored to the universe and Foye proceeded to score a more realistic 2 points the rest of the way.
  • 6:54 left in the third quarter, Chris Paul gets in the lane, emerges on the low block and fires a bouncs pass along the baseline to Peja Stojakovic. Three-ball goes down, and we have a new franchise record for assists in a season. Sorry, Muggsy, but 867 just ain't good enough no more.
  • Big difference in the game: 5 turnovers for New Orleans, 18 turnovers for Minnesota. Quite a few of them by the T-Wolves were unforced too, like their numerous back-court violations.
  • Spotted behind the Hornets bench was none other than Chad Shinn. You are so busted, Chad. You told me our road trip to Minneapolis was canceled because you lost an eye in a fishing accident. That's cold, man. I want my BFF ring back.
  • Gil McGregor's best/worst pun of the night: After Pargo fed Bonzi Wells for an alley-oop to start the second quarter, Gil called it a "Wells Pargo deposit." He's been holding on to that one for six weeks.
  • Byron shook things up a little tonight. Rather than throwing a starter (usually West) out there with the reserves to start the second quarter, he went with all bench players. Then to start the fourth quarter, he started Chris Paul despite the 16-point lead. Interesting.
  • Play of the game: I had it pegged as Chris Paul dancing around the Wolves defense to drop a layup late in the third quarter. But then, about ninety seconds later, Chris nailed a back-breaking three from the corner as the buzzer sounded. That took the cake.
  • Recaps by other bloggers, as I find them: At the Hive

So win 55 is in the books. A new franchise record. Of course, they'll probably have to put an asterisk beside it because we lost to the Jazz three times, and that essentially means the entire season was a waste of time.

Moving on…

The Suns just got done blowing out the Spurs in San Antonio tonight, so that means the Hornets are again two games clear of everyone at the top of the Western Conference. The Lakers play the Clippers tomorrow before we meet Kobe and Co. in LA on Friday. Big game right there.

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