Hornets hold off Celtics fourth quarter surge to hand Boston third loss in four games

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Published: December 31, 2010

The Hornets led the Celtics by eleven before a 18-0 Boston run that had the crowd celebrating like it was New Year’s Eve, but Trevor Ariza and Marco Belinelli came out of their comas to hit some huge shots that propelled New Orleans to a 83-81 victory.

It was a tale of two halves and a tale of two units, as the the first half was slow paced and low scoring, with both teams shooting horrible from deep. The second half saw both teams play with more energy and passion, going back and forth with double digit runs before finally settling the game on the final posessions.

Nate Robinson tied the game up at 77 with a fast break layup, and that’s when the magic happened. With the shot clock winding down, Trevor Ariza hoisted a contested three-pointer to give the Hornets the lead for good with 1:34 left. After West and Pierce traded jumpers and Ray Allen made two free throws, the Hornets had a one point lead and the ball with 21 seconds left. West got fouled and made one out of two, setting the stage for Paul Pierce to try to work his magic. Everyone knew he was going to try to get his spot on the wing, but Belinelli’s defense forced him to lose control of the ball. He saved it to Ray Allen who took a horrible, off balance three-pointer that missed. After a scramble, the Hornets got the rebound and the victory.

Chris Paul, Emeka Okafor, and David West scored 57 of New Orleans 83 points and both CP3 and Okafor notched double-doubles in a game where they were both dominant in their own ways. Paul (20 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, and 5 steals) had some beautiful assists that set up easy buckets for Okafor and West, while Emeka (18 and 13) took advantage of his young legs against the O’Neal brothers.

For Boston, Pierce and Allen seemed to be sleepwalking through the first half, but woke in the second. By then it was too little, too late however. Nate Robinson and Glen Davis replaced All-Stars Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett, M.D. in the starting lineup and went a combined 9-24, scoring 19 points in 73 minutes. Luke Harangody also got minutes that he otherwise wouldn’t have played if not for the KG injury and responded by going 1-5. The lone bright spot for Boston was Marquis Daniels, who keyed the 4th quarter run and ended the game with 10 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks while being +8 in his 25 minutes of play.

Other News and Notes:

– Yes, Marco and Trevor have been horrible as of late, but the #1 reason that the Hornets have been dogs on the road this month is the play of their bench. Today wasn’t much different. In fact, the only difference was that Monty had enough and put the starters back in for the final 10 minutes of the 4th quarter. To give you an idea of how bad it was- Chris Paul was +17 in the 40 minutes he played. In the other 8 minutes (6 in the second quarter, 2 in the 4th) the Hornets were outscored by 15 points. At that rate, they would have lost by 90 (do the math- not an exaggeration) if CP3 hadn’t played.

– In the first half; West, CP3, and Okafor shot 12-21 while the rest of the team was 4-18, including a 2-8 performance from fellow starters Marco Belinelli and Trevor Ariza.

– Thankfully the Celtics didn’t put the Hornets away in the first half like LA did. They could have, as they were only 1-10 from three.

– David West made what I think was the best pass of his career in the second quarter. Iso wing, he drives to the middle drawing two defenders and then makes a no-look whip around bounce pass to Okafor for the dunk. It looked CP3-like. Brialliant.

– CP3, West, and Okafor all played 40 or more minutes and the Hornets have a game tomorrow night. I hope they don’t follow this great victory with a let down because of it.

– Glad to see Willie back on the court. Much love. I hope the New Year brings you happiness.

24 Comments

  1. m-W

    December 31, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    A win. Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.

  2. QueenBee

    December 31, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    I’m glad they now know what it feels like to win on the road again. Let’s do it again tomorrow guys! Now that we’ve ended the year the right way, let’s begin the year the right way.

    • MaxALM

      December 31, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      here’s our chance to win 2 consecutive road games. We’ve got a nice stretch coming up. @Washington, vs Philly, vs Golden State. If we can pull out wins against those teams, we’ll have a nice 4-game win streak going into the @Lakers game. A 4-game win streak sounds great…haven’t seen that in over a month.

    • 42

      December 31, 2010 at 7:40 pm

      Well said, Queen.

  3. f.g. di bene

    December 31, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    marco with a +19 +/-

    • BeesGivingEffort

      December 31, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      Oh man, you’ve been waiting to say that one for about a month now. 30 more days til the next one.

      • f.g. di bene

        December 31, 2010 at 8:34 pm

        yep, I just wanted to make you comment on the game. Haters gonna hate

    • Okijeff

      December 31, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      It was nice to see Marco hit a couple of big shots and play good defense. If he is going to play hopefully he keeps it up.

  4. Ron

    December 31, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    “Iso wing”?

  5. MaxALM

    December 31, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    CP3 has been playing like uber CP3 again. In tough stretches like these, with losses coming left and right, it’s good to see CP with his explosiveness back. Ya I got my swagga back!

    He’s definitely been listening to this lately:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z93ee0GHs1U

    • BeesGivingEffort

      December 31, 2010 at 6:29 pm

      Amen

    • Michael McNamara

      December 31, 2010 at 6:56 pm

      CP3 has always been capable of that- he was just trusting his teammates too much. What a Jerk!

      In all seriousness, the wins feel good but the other guys are going to have to step up long term. I love the win, but the Celtics were missing two studs.

      Just keeping it in perspective. Marco and/or Ariza have to step up consistantly.

      • 42

        December 31, 2010 at 7:43 pm

        Anyone on the damned bench needs to come through, even just one more game in 5 would help out tremendously.

      • QueenBee

        January 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

        The Celts were missing 2 studs but they’re still a better team than the Hornets. That was evident when CP3 started the 4th quarter on the bench. The Hornets just about collapsed and the Celts went on a run. If CP3 wouldn’t have been able to play in the 4th, the Celts would have won that game, without their 2 studs. Like I said, no one feels sorry for the Hornets or discount their wins when the Hornets have players missing.

  6. DownUnder

    December 31, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    hahaha, I only just woke up from the New Years hangover last night. I missed what sounds like a good win. Im off to watch the replay on League Pass Now.

  7. JCS

    December 31, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    We’re just getting started in South Beach. Happy New Year!

  8. QueenBee

    December 31, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    I’m getting ready to watch the replay on Cox. Heck, I might watch it at 1am too if I’m not already passed out. LOL!

  9. NolaHog

    December 31, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Aaaaawwwwwww Shit!!!! Hornets, Baby!

    Paul, West, & Okafor were huge. Big shots from Belinelli in the second half. Ariza’s 3 at the end was luck, but I’ll take it!

    How scary is Ray Allen when he gets rolling? We could have easily folded during that run, but fortunately Monty had the good sense to put Paul back in. CP3 is the man in every possible way.
    Great to see Willie Green back. I also agree with McNamara: that DWest pass was SICK!

  10. NolaHog

    December 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Also, how was that a foul on Paul at the end of the game? That looked like the most obvious over the back call on Ray Allen that I’ve ever seen. Fortunately, the Hornets didn’t have an appetite for the refs’ home cookin’.

    • 42

      December 31, 2010 at 7:44 pm

      I didn’t see it, but V and K said that he didn’t leave room for Allen to land.

      • m-W

        December 31, 2010 at 8:03 pm

        I thought so originally, but the replay seemed to show otherwise.

      • 42

        December 31, 2010 at 11:19 pm

        Just repeating. I don’t even really try to understand the things that aren’t flagrant 2 fouls.

  11. jtshoopsblog

    December 31, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Hornets did the right things. they got an opponent down when they are undermanned and at their weakest. Good win. Should give NOH some momentum

  12. Pingback: Truth About It » From The Other Side: Second Half Adjustments From New Orleans

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