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The Hornets beat the Kings

Published: December 21, 2008

The Hornets are getting good at this whole payback thing. First the Bobcats, then the Spurs, and tonight they got some vengence against the Kings. The final score was 99-90. Mark it down as a four-game winning streak, six straight victories at home, and 11 wins in 13 tries. This team is making me believe again, one game at a time.

Zee bullets…

  • Chris Paul owned the Kings tonight. His line was just insane: 34 points (on just 15 shots), 9 assists, 8 steals, 4 rebounds, 2-2 from deep, and only one turnover and one foul. He took over the game in the third quarter, scoring 16 points in the period to shake the Kings loose. He was a terror defensively, hands everywhere, relentless chasing down loose balls. I love that he shot 15 free throws (made 12). He would have easily had double-figure assists, too, if only Devin Brown and Rasual Butler could have hit a shot tonight.
  • James Posey was also a massive factor in the game tonight. I think Byron may have stumbled upon a good way to get some buckets when CP is on the bench. Turns out all you have to do is post up Posey and let him go to work. Granted, dudes like John Salmons and Donte Greene won’t be making anybody’s all-defensive team anytime soon, but you had to appreciate how Posey abused them down low tonight. He mixed it up a bunch, unleashing spin moves, hook shots, up and unders. When the Kings didn’t double him, he dropped 7-8 from the field and 4-6 from the line for 19 points. And when the Kings did double, he passed the ball out of there remarkably well. I hope we see much more of Posey on the low block this season.
  • You can tell Bobby Jackson used to play for the Hornets. He complains to the officials much too much.

  • The game was tied 46 going into the half. I thought the Hornets did a nice job in the first 24 minutes though. Our ball movement was impressive for the most part, and we got some very nice contributions off the bench from Daniels and Armstrong. The defense was solid, but the Kings were smoking in that first half. They burned us a number of times by dropping tough, well-contested jumpers late in the shot clock. They tried to run the ball like they did last time, but we did a much better job of getting back and limiting their break.
  • 107, and counting.
  • Great to have Mo Pete back. He got 19 minutes of PT tonight, shot 4-8 from the field for 10 points. Himself and Posey did a respectable job on Garcia and Salmons. The latter did frop 26 points on us, but he didn’t get anything easy.
  • Also deserving a lot of credit for his defense tonight was David West. I’ve complained before that he doesn’t contibute much unless he’s rolling offensively, but that wasn’t the case tonight. He scored just 12 points (8 of them in the first quarter) on 6-14 shooting, but he was very effective defensively, hedging hard and bumping guys on the pick and roll all night long. He also had a couple of blocks, and limited Spencer Hawes to an 8-point outing. A good night’s work.
  • Stop the Marksness. Seriously. He started out well tonight, actually hitting one of those jump shot things, and coming up with a block right after at the other end, but it was all downhill from there. I don’t think the guy is terrible — I mean, he can play a little — but it’s a tragedy that dudes such as Ryan Bowen and Julian Wright are buried on the bench behind him. Put either of those guys in Utah or San Antonio and you can bet they’d be getting decent burn and contributing.
  • Devin Brown could do with getting his minutes cut, too. Either that or make him stay back and shoot 200 jumpers after every practice. You can’t be that open that often and miss every time.
  • Fun fact (kinda): the Kings were the last team to beat the Hornets in New Orleans.
  • Tyson was solid. 10 points, 8 boards. He got in some foul trouble, but still played 37 minutes. He missed two dunks in the game, one inexcusable, and another because CP threw the alley a little high. Mo Pete also missed a jam right at the end of the game. Fastbreak, all alone, and he botched it. You can bet he heard about that in the locker room.
  • It was Christmas at the Hive tonight. They pulled out all the stops, from a festive video intro, to bicycle giveaways for the kids, to Honeybees wearing skimpy Santa outfits and black boots, dancing with candy canes and making me stupid. The crowd favorite though was the video segment they showed during a timeout in the first quarter. It was Ryan Bowen singing Jingle Bells, with Mo Pete beatboxing and Tyson dancing like a clown in the background. Somebody at Hornets HQ needs to get that on YouTube.
  • Elsewhere tonight: The Lakers dropped their second straight in Florida, Houston beat Minnesota, Utah lost to Chicago, the Spurs beat the Raptors, and sthe Suns beat the Nuggets. All of that puts us second in the West, 3.5 games behind L.A., mere percentage points ahead of the Rockets. Our next game is against the Lakers on Tuesday.

Alright, I’m done. This will actually be my last recap for a while, because I’m jumping on a plane to Ireland tomorrow to go visit d’Mudder and some old faces for the holidays. I’ll be back before 2009 though, and Ryan and Mikey will be holding it down good and proper while I enjoy the streams of whiskey and the wisest of philosophies.

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