Hornets Beat Down the NBA Best San Antonio Spurs

By:
Published: January 22, 2011

I was proud to be a Hornets fan tonight. In the third quarter the team played the best basketball I’ve ever seen at any time in my entire life. They were absolutely on fire on both ends of the floor and there was nothing that San Antonio could do to stop them. The Hornets absolutely stifled the NBA’s best offense, and made one of the better defenses look like a Nutria in headlights. The third quarter should be watched over and over and over by Hornets fans, only to see exactly what perfect basketball looks like.

From the first play of the game you could tell that this was going to be a high energy affair. The Hornets, fueled by arguably the best crowd of the year, jumped out to a 5-0 start so fast that Popovic called a timeout before the crowd had fully sat down after the first points were scored. Paul was aggressive right off the bat and the defense was rotating well.

The only thing that kept them from jumping out to a big early lead was Marco Belinelli, who just could not get a shot to drop and made a stupid high risk-low reward pass to Okafor hat resulted in a turnover. He had one three pointer in particular that would have driven the crowd close to insanity, and he missed it.

I really think that if he had made that three, the Hornets would have ridden the momentum into a big league. It sort of seemed like Marco was trying to get Manu into some early foul trouble. The Hornets kept feeding him the ball over and over and it really appeared that his first priority wasn’t just to shoot, but to shoot and get the foul. It took six minutes, but he did eventually get one called. Aside from that, it was a hideous first seven minutes, as he had his ankles broken repeatedly, and went 0-5 from the floor with only a single point.

As it turned out, it would be in the third quarter that the Hornets would pull away, with Marco on the floor. Incredibly effective rotations and great individual efforts from the starting five left the Spurs hoisting up shots as the shot clock expired.

The Spurs were helpless offensively, and even Popovic seemed resigned to losing during the run. Paul was doing what he does best, penetrating, and then kicking it out to open shooters. The guys were on fire and that combined with the crowd made for one of the loudest third quarters in recent memory. With six minutes left the fans were on their feet chanting “Let’s go Hornets” with as much passion as they did three years ago in the playoffs.

The rebounding in particular was impressive. Ariza and Okafor were grabbing everything in sight, and really the entire team was just doing everything fundamentally right. A three pointer by Trevor Ariza after the ball was kicked around perfectly capped a an 11-0 run in only 1:03. West would get T-ed up in the aftermath of the shot, but still the Spurs couldn’t put it in the basket. After two back to back insane Okafor blocks, the Hornets crowd got even louder, reaching a level of noise unheard of recently in New Orleans except for inside the Superdome.

And that was the game.

Game Notes

  • The Mardi Gras Races started again. After seeing the baby I instantly began dreading the eventual walk to my car after the game. It’s dark out there, and the baby is back.
  • Guess what? There was a defensive three second violation. And an offensive one. I would guess that the total winds up being 3 or 4.
  • Tiago Splitter has one of the uglier free throw shots in the league.
  • Jarrett Jack got the ball with about 33 seconds left in the first quarter, dribbled for 6 seconds and then took a jumper from a step inside the three point line. Um. That’s not how the 2 and 1 works.
  • Has Jason Smith never gotten the ball at the end of a quarter with a few seconds left? He seemed to think he was a cornerback who just got an interception after a hail mary.
  • Final score at the end of the first quarter was 13-12. That meant that in the last five quarters of basketball the Hornets had allowed 71 points total.
  • Quincy Pondexter’s face after he scores a point while taking some uncalled contact is identical to how Marcus used to look last year. Poor rookies.
  • Thornton played great, but who didn’t?  (answer- Willie Green) Buckets was instrumental in keeping the game close in the first half, but wasn’t part of the huge run to start the third quarter.
  • Gary Chouest was court side with his wife and her friends and he was having a blast, even though he kept walking three seats down to talk with some other guys. I’m going to go ahead and predict that he winds up being the local the NBA finds to buy the team.
  • E.C. Coleman was in the house
  • Okafor was also awesome. His case for the All-Star game gets stronger each day.
  • The kicker for the night was attendance. It was announced at 18,032 and nearly every single seat was filled. Great job, everyone.
76 comments
where's the love
where's the love

its a shame that even when the hornets have the longest winning streak in the NBA and just destroyed the team with the best record, that they still get less coverage than a cleveland team w/ 16 straight losses. maybe after number 9 we'll get more than just a 20 second highlight forty minutes into sportscenter.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Marcus has been so badass lately that he has ballooned his PER from 12 to above 14 in 3 games. He went up a FULL POINT after last game alone. Wow.

Go Blue
Go Blue

Looking for the person who made fun of me when I said Mek should be an all-star a few games ago. Have anything to say now?

42
42

Ha! Wonderful.

Mikey
Mikey

That baby gives me the creeps. I have to get up and walk around when that race comes up in-game.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

can i just say.. what you say now Michael?! you said our defense was good not great. Now, i hope these past 2 games showed you! HA! side note, we're now 4th in Hollinger's rankings with a +8.42 Margin of victory in 11 games with teams combined win record of 0.530 that's GREAT. a win in OKC and we have a REALLY GOOD CHANCE to go 13 straight and then face OKC and LA with lots a momentum... LEZZ DO IT YALL!! represent!!

Adzs-London bee
Adzs-London bee

Firstly i'd like to apologise for my week long absences from the blog only ever have time on weekdays to quickly read the write up from the night before, bath, then go to college (English equivalent of last 2 years of high school). Anyways from the Toronto game i was really worried about our upcoming schedule (Rockets, Magic, Not so much Hawks but definetly Spurs and Thunder) but i have been in awe of the results we've pulled out, especially the last 2 games. It seems like monty has performed his Rabbit out of the hat trick at the perfect time by unleashing Marcus upon the world, and for those of you critical about his treatment this year have you ever seen him rebound or defend better? With Monty coming from Portland it reminds me of how they successfully brought along Patty Mills last year in preperation for the minutes hes receiving this year and how well hes using them, so i thought i'd commend monty for his handling of this situation. Lastly i'd like to say that Okafor has been the Mvp for us in 2011, not necessarily in stats but in effectiveness; Right now that contract of his isn't looking as gruesome as it did last year ;P

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42

Not bad for a guy with his nose in a book. Shout out when you get time.

cro_CP3
cro_CP3

I watched it, I love it and I'm gonna watch it again, this is fucking amazing, great D, Okafor 5 blocks, CP3 owned TP, Ariza 4 triples, Marco and DWest played awesome, we outrebounded the Spurs, the Spurs scored 72, hey guys, 72 POINTS ONLY...The BEEFENSE is awesome...GO NOLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MaxALM
MaxALM

By the way, Marcus's playmaking skills are improving EXPONENTIALLY. Some CP3-like passes out there--He'd be getting more assists if his teammates weren't so amazed by it. They catch a laser pass from him and stare in awe before they shoot the ball. Once they remember to shoot the ball and score first, they can stare at him in awe later on XD

MaxALM
MaxALM

Being in the Arena during that game, particularly the 3rd quarter, felt like everyone fell in love with everyone. Awesome game. So badass!

Gec
Gec

That was fast! We crushed them in that 3rd quarter in a hurry, i was just watching the game and than "OMG we are up by 16?!?!?!". The first quarter was frustrating, you could see our win coming but we just could hit a shot. We were annihilating their offense but we couldn't hit good shots. And then all of a sudden we oblitereted them :D that was crazy!! P.S.: We are 9-1 when Marcus goes for 10 points or more! ;D P.P.S.: "the Hornets have now held consecutive teams to 72 or fewer points for the first time in franchise history." :D

Stefan
Stefan

I could not be happier. No other team has beaten the Spurs twice! Can the playoffs please start tomorrow?

NolaHog
NolaHog

Loved watching Ariza draining three pointer after three pointer during that run. We totally gave San Antonio a taste of their own medicine with all of the kickout threes. Suck it, Ginobili.

42
42

18,023, not 32. My conservative estimate of need is 11,838, so Will's find of 11,758 fits. Also, this attendance stuff isn't over. We need to keep this damned thing going. Our average for this year after this game will be about 14,367. We need to make sure it's over 14,735 for the year so we don't dig a hole for next year, etc. Of course, if we get it higher (we will), we make it even easier to bury this damned thing into a mere academic concern.

Mark
Mark

I don't know NOLA's culture, but it should be easier to generate Buzz that the Saints aren't in the picture and the Bees are streaking.

Mark
Mark

These are the types of games where people will talk about, so hopefully it will. Unbelievably impressed with yesterday's game, hopefully we'll continue playing hard

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42

It will be, I think. I've spec'ed out an another attendance post, but it's hell to gather the data. It'll be out after the season.

Thornton's Thunder
Thornton's Thunder

Tonight was BIG! Hats off to our players for showing New Orleans (and the rest of the NBA) that this is not a joke...they mean business! How electric was the hive tonight? It was incredible! As one caller said on post-game, it was a clear reminder of the 07-08 season; the crowd stayed in the game, it was a packed house and our guys meant business! CONGRATULATIONS to all of you for putting it all out there, the results were what I'd expect when we go out onto the court and take charge of a game like this! Heck, San Anton didn't know what to do and I loved it! Thornton...oh Thornton, you're really doing what 'WE' ALWAYS knew you would do...you're a baller...congratulations to you from your THORNTON'S THUNDER family... (you know who we are)!! Way to go CP, D-West, Trevor and Jack! You guys did your thing tonight, and we are proud of you! See ya on Monday...

Just enjoy it
Just enjoy it

See, like I can get behind a guy like this. He loves Thornton and he loves the team! Represent!

Papa2Coach
Papa2Coach

I am so proud of my team and my fellow Hornets Fans who packed the Hive tonight! We saw a preview tonight of what this team and city will do in the postseason!

Will Bennett
Will Bennett

from the nba.com review of the game : "a crowd of 11,758 or larger on Monday night will void a clause in the team's arena lease that would allow the club to move after this season"

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

1600 Tickets were left as of last Thursday.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Unfortunately, I don't. However, the source was our STH ticket rep.

42
42

Cool. Good to know.

42
42

Got a reference? I'll be happy to link it up.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

It's already done. I heard there were only 1600 tix left for Monday.

Hornet
Hornet

See here's the thing the media doesn't realize This is the 2nd time we beat San Antonio, and that wasn't even close until a late run by the Spurs. The 2nd time we played them we were crushing them, but we collapsed. 3rd game we just played awful. Now we crush them. We've played better than any other team against San Antonio this year. We SHOULD be 3-1 against them. Geaux Hornets!

JCS
JCS

I love blowouts.

Brazilian Hornet
Brazilian Hornet

Okafor is an All-Star! And tonight he proved it personally to the coach of the West! See you in LA, Mek!

504ever
504ever

Was at the game with my daughter. We entered at 6:00pm and went straight to the corner of the floor where the Hornet's players who were still shooting would exit. Several starters and backups left the court, and we asked them all for an autograph on my daughter's game give-a-way jersey. The only ones who sign for my daughter were Dave Anderson and EMEKA. EMEKA was a CLASS ACT all the way. And then he went out and was a dominant shot blocker and rebounder. It was great to see.

thechosenuno
thechosenuno

Wow. That's all I can say. I bet Chouest buys the team. Did anyone else notice that the support staff gave him stat sheets every time they came over to give them to the coaching staff?

QueenBee
QueenBee

Anybody hear what Sean Elliott's homer ass had to say during this beatdown?

JCS
JCS

"We were going to lose to someone..." Separately, he said the halftime King Baby scares him and if it caught him in a dark alley he'd scream like a school girl.

Go Blue
Go Blue

What he say?

Go Blue
Go Blue

Opps I misread. And what is up with that creepy giant baby?!?

QueenBee
QueenBee

I don't know. I had Hornets announcers. I was wondering if anyone hear had Spurs announcers.

JCS
JCS

Dejaun "NO ACLs" Blair

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

The NBA - Where Consistency from Marcus Thornton Happens. This was the best game I've seen from him all year. Say what you want. When he was running our offense in the 4th quarter, it was clockwork. He was also the better defender of Jack, Belinelli, Green tonight. Ya'll ever wonder why Marcus looks like crap with that second unit? Tonight is your answer. Everyone not named Marcus Thornton and Jarrett Jack looked D-League. Mbenga shouldn't even be in an NBA uniform. I couldn't imagine a worse performance than the stinker Aaron Gray put up recently, but Mbenga just shattered the hell out of it. Okafor is a beast. That is all.

42
42

Marcus was great in all areas of the game. He had a great assist to Okafor that really showed how much he's `looking'. Great. Mbenga did fine. I think he's much improved.

Just enjoy it
Just enjoy it

Hahaha just proving my point. I'm enjoying it (last I checked basketball was entertainment) and he's nitpicking. Enjoy the weekend =) Take it to me by all means!

Hornets24//7
Hornets24//7

damn montysdoghouse went ape shit on just enjoy it

Just enjoy it
Just enjoy it

Dude, there is no doghouse. And seriously quit with that. We're killing teams and you're just worried about Thornton. Dude got more minutes than Belinelli, Green, and Jack! Yes, he's awesome on Offense but don't downplay the other guys. It's a team game and they played some MONSTER D in the 1st and 3rd quarters! Nobody thinks Marcus looks like crap! Dude's money. Get over your paranoia. We're blowing teams out and YOU'RE COMPLAINING! Have fun with that. I'm going to Harrahs to celebrate! =P

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Ergg I) MT5 >>>>> WG33 << any other 6th man in the NBA. Sorry

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

A) I was at the game. B) I cheered my ass off for the Hornets regardless of whether Marcus was in or not. C) Even my girlfriend admits that the games are a lot more fun when Marcus gets playing time. D) We are one backup big away from being able to make serious postseason noise. I don't care who it is, even the Lakers. If we bring what we brought this weekend to the table, we're Finals bound. E) I'm merely pointing out the fact that Willie Green is still our 6th man F) E is just plain retarded. G) I'm looking ahead. People can't get complacent. It is beyond obvious that Monty has created a Super Marcus and I give him credit for that. Monty needs to unleash the beast. People need to put pressure on him to unleash the beast, because it is apparent he doesn't exactly know what he has created. H) If you don't think that Monty and Marcus have a tiff, then you are not paying attention at all. Anyone with eyes can tell that those two don't get along. Those two have admitted they don't get along for crying out loud. I've actually heard that early on, Marcus was quite the headcase for Monty. I) CP3 >>>> WG33 << Any other 6th man in the league. K) I dream of NBA Finals. You guys think I'm the ultra-pessimist. When in fact I am the ultra-optimist. I think we can do it. THIS YEAR. I think we need MT5 to be the MT5 we know and love to do it. He IS the missing piece in my opinion. L) +65 points - The differential in 2 game with teams that had a combined record of 65-21 before they ran into the dreaded BUZZZZ-saw. M) Emeka Okafor is a damn All-Star. N) I would not trade Emeka for Tyson right now. O) Never thought I'd say N P) I'm done.

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42

Q) uincy

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