The Clippers beat the Hornets
And mercifully, the preseason has come to an end. The Hornets dropped their final exhibition game last night, losing to the Clippers in L.A., 88-91 ( box | recap ). Here’s some highlights, featuring Hilton Armstrong getting punked twice by Blake Griffin:
Once again, I didn’t get to see the game, but here’s a few notes from the box score and around the interwebs…
- Still no play for Ike Diogu or Emeka Okafor. Let the speculation begin as to whether they’ll be ready for the regular season opener in San Antonio on Wednesday.
- Julian Wright and David West were back in action after both missing Thursday’s game. JuJu had 8 points (3-6 FGs) and 7 boards in 25 minutes, while West scored 18 (8-18 FGs) and grabbed 7 in 35 minutes.
- Chris Paul sat out his second consecutive game with a cold. Marcus Thornton was a DNP-CD.
- Peja Stojakovic was hot, knocking down all three of his triples and finishing with a team-high 19 points in 24 minutes off the pine.
- Hilton Armstrong: 13 points (5-10 FGs), 7 boards and 5 turnovers in 35 minutes. Overall, he hasn’t played bad in the preseason, but I hope and pray that we don’t see him as a starter next week.
- Byron Scott quoted in the Times-Picayune: “Defensive rotation and communication are the two areas we have to get better in. The initial part of our defense was pretty good tonight. So, I was pretty happy about that. But on some of the rotations, guys are still standing around when the ball is moving.”
- Rasual Butler, starting at shooting guard for the Clips, scored 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting. He’s started five of L.A.’s eight preseason games, but head coach Mike Dunleavy hasn’t decided if he’ll start Butler or Al Thornton at that spot on opening night.
- That’s the last of the replacement refs.
- The Hornets averaged 93.3 points per game in the preseason. Opposing teams averaged 103.3ppg. That 10-point differential is the second-worst the Hornets have ever had in the preseason. They were -10.5 back in 1998-99, but that was the lockout-shortened season, when they played just two exhibition games (both against the Hawks).
- In other news, former Chris Paul back-ups are dropping like flies: Bobby Jackson is retiring, and Antonio Daniels just got waived.
So the Hornets finish their preseason with a 2-6 record. That .250 winning percentage is the lowest in the Western Conference, and beat only by the Nets in the East, who lost all but one exhibition game.