Hornets beat Kings behind Paul’s explosive return

By:
Published: March 12, 2011

The Hornets entered the fourth down one, 84-85.  Five minutes later, they were up 102-88.  Sure, it took another seven minutes for the Hornets to win 115-103 (Box Score) but the game was over at that point.

There isn’t really any surprise as to why it happened either.  Okafor had been in foul trouble all game, but was able to stay on the floor in the fourth.  The Kings were still getting into the paint like they did during the first three quarters, but Okafor made all the difference, blocking two shots and forcing three bad adjustments.   Those blocks and wild shots, plus a few bad passes, turned into quick strikes back down court, where we were treated to a show by one C. P. 3.

Chris Paul

33 points on 21 shots. 6-7 from the line.  7 rebounds.  15 assists.  5 steals.  2 turnovers.  He was playing a measured pace in the first half, but in the third and fourth he did what he did during the first month of the season – getting into the mid-range space, generating open spots, and forcing the defenders to let him get an easy look, or cheat off someone else and give them an easy look.  Sure, the Kings defense sucks, but there wasn’t a team in the league that could have defended him the way he was playing tonight.  Maybe he needs a week off and some swelling of the brain more often.

I’m kidding.  Kidding!  Sheesh.

Carl Landry

With Okafor forced to the bench, Landry came through.  Does anyone think that had the Hornets not traded Thornton for Landry, and we were still backing up Okafor with Gray/Smith/Andersen that we would have won this game tonight?  Me either.  Landry got into the paint and pump-faked his way to 11 free throw attempts.  As a result, he ended with 20 points on 10 shots - and added three offensive rebounds.  Now, sure, it would have been nice for him to grab more than a lone defensive rebound . . . who am I kidding?  Who cares?  Dude is a beast.

Other Observations

  • David West was locked in from 17 feet all night, with his jumper full on Fluffy.  Part of that was due to the fact that Paul was taking half the defenders with him wherever he went, leaving West wide open, but he was also just clearly on.  Perfectly calm, unhurried even under pressure.  You could see him getting a little angry out there in the fourth with Cousins.  I think West really buys into the idea that Rookies had better show him some damn respect.
  • Thornton looked like his old self from last year.  The Kings opened the game running plays through him in the post like they do with Evans, and he was effective.  His jumper was also on.  I still love watching him play.
  • However, I do need to say that in the fourth, Willie Green locked in hard on Thornton, and gave him nothing easy.  The one bucket Thornton got was a tough leaner with Willie practically trying to have his babies.  Every other shot Thornton took was off-balance and rushed.
  • It felt like Cousins was destroying the Hornets out there – but his 19 points on 14 shots is good until you realize he also had 6 turnovers.  That means 19 points on 20 possessions, which is not good.  He needs to learn how not to travel before he can be classified as a dominant big man.
  • Marco and Willie split time almost evenly at SG and produced 20 points on 14 shots with four rebounds and an assist.  That’s what we need from them, and if they give us more?  Gravy.
  • Quincy had a nice 7 minutes.
  • Samuel Dalembert scored 19 on an array of jumpers and hook shots.  The dude is normally one of the worst offensive players in the league, but that’s two games this year he’s wrecked the Hornets.
  • With the game being called really tightly, Gray didn’t have a prayer.
  • Jack played less than 25 minutes.  0-5 for zero points and pair of assists.  Can’t really rouse myself to care with Paul going nuts.

That’s two winning recaps in a row, baby!  I’m on a roll with butter and garlic.  Or something.

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37 comments
PeeDee
PeeDee

death to Christopher im so glad cp3 is back :)

Thornton's Thunder
Thornton's Thunder

Hornets! Hornets! Hornets! What about Paul? I'm not sure the reason...I think I know, but whatever the case, Paul showed up...he came onto the court & it was evident that he had a purpose! I'm happy about that because that's part of why I've been a STH for years...I wanna see your desire, your heart, your efforts! I did see that and I'm proud of these guys for that! It was tough to see Marcus since I'd missed him tremendously...but after talkn with him, he said that Sactown has accepted him and the fans are really behind him! As a true fan of his...I'm in a good place because I know with that comes tremendous opportunity! It was great to see him again...he displayed alot of character & class throughout the game (I expected that!) Thank you Marcus...u know we've got ur back! Great win guys...together, many things are possible!! Whewwww!!!

Hordan
Hordan

Did anyone else think, at first, that Ariza walked before he passed it back to Landry on that fast break?

Just A Fan
Just A Fan

Good win for Hornets and well deserved. The first comment on this page is absolutely the best. You are so right that it was hurtful and hopefully he will move on to better things as will the Hornets. I really miss seeing him play and the energy he brought. A short story for all that I must share now. I am part of the Thornton Thunder group and before last nights game we were courtside for shoot around. Marcus came out and during warmup he saw us and waved and said hi. After his shoot around he walked over and hugged us and shook hands with all of us. As we talked he told us that he still missed the fan support that we gave him. We showed him 2 King jerseys and he was beside himself. He autographed them and then took pictures with all of us. He said how nervous he was to come back and play here not knowing how fans would react. He was really worried how people were going to accept him. So far that I appreciate what he did while he was here. We will never know what the future would have been like but I'm grateful for what we did see. In closing it is time to move on Marcus we truly appreciate what you gave us but it's time to say goodbye and good luck.

42
42

Good story.

James Online
James Online

True, Tyreke comes back, Thornton's minutes/shots go down, Sacto gets better.

seb
seb

yea MT5 is definately not the reason for sacramento's struggles!!!

James Online
James Online

Sacto with Thornton now 1-8.

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

They are 2-11 since Tyreke Evans got hurt. Luther Head - Starting PG. That is all.

L_Reazy
L_Reazy

A couple things: (1) Every foul on Emeka, except for his 4th-foul on a moving screen along the baseline was "B.S." ! The refs need to be held accountable. Monty should send footage to the league (you know our owners), and nip this in the butt before the playoffs begin. (2) Marcus Thornton had a great game, but 16 of his 25 points really didn't hurt us. Most were transition points, and he only shot 2-free throws all game. Landry went to the line 11 times. Thornton - 25 points on 19 shots ... Landry - 20 points on 10 shots. I rest my case! (3) In the future, Monty should bring Jarrett Jack off the bench before Willie Green. I think by not bringing Jack off the bench first against the Kings to play alongside Chris Paul sort of hurt his production. Aside from that, I love the defensive tenacity of Paul, Jack, and Green together as a game changing unit. With those three on the floor together in the 4th-quarter ... 18-3 run by the Hornets. (4) Key play in the 4th-quarter that grabbed my attention: David West passed the ball up court to Jarrett Jack during a fastbreak. David West and Chris Paul remained on the opposite end of the court, while Jack, Okafor, and Green lead the break which lead to a 'pick-n-roll' play with Jack and Okafor, a score, "And-1"! It sort of illustrates our team's depth and veteran leadership that doesn't always have to rely on Paul and West. This will be very helpful in the playoffs. L_REAZY

Hornet Seantonio
Hornet Seantonio

Diddles was diddlin all las night and i was loving every second of it. And dalembert and cousins pushin on him was CLEARLY enraging him. Ive said it many times before nothing in this world i love more than a pissed off David West (and it aent hard to get him mad)

42
42

Agreed on mad D West. Love it. He was very frustrated, not in the performance sense, but in the face-tap sense. Marco and Marcus got into it bit, as well.

bgalella
bgalella

The rest of the league better hope this is fully healthy Chris Paul because if he is playing this well and is still banged up, that's amazing.

NolaHog
NolaHog

Beautiful win. I, for one, think we're about to come together. If Paul plays like this, and Belinelli continues to give us consistency, this team is going to be SNEAKY GOOD. Landry is the man. I love Jason Smith, but Landry is a quantum leap over him. This is going to be an awesome second half of the season. Also, everybody should read the article on NOLA.com about Marcus returning. Monty had some interesting comments. He commented on the fans during the Lakers game this year and he clearly was disgusted by all of the cheers the Lakers received. I couldn't agree with him more.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara

If CP3 plays like this. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!!!! (Thank you KG) The biggest thing I noticed tonight is the Hornets are forced to play 4 on 5 basketball whenever Ariza is on the court. Teams are just leaving him now and that will be a trend in the playoffs is he doesn't at least provide a threat. He needs to find his January game. If he does and Mek can stay out of foul trouble, this could be the second best 8 man rotation in the West. And getting that 5 seed could mean avoiding the Lakers until the WCF.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Getting that 5 seed would also mean playing the Thunder and we all know the league is still slobbing them down as league darlings. Might be hard to get past them for that reason alone. I can see it now, Durant shooting 30 free throws a game. Uggh.

cro_CP3
cro_CP3

Here on the forum, I HAVE NEVER GAVE UP ON CP3, when he was low I was still supporting him here, CP3 you're the best, I'm still amazed....

Dontae
Dontae

That's right. Everyone who gave up on CP3 time to jump back on the bandwagon.

The Bite & Sting
The Bite & Sting

im still waiting for mek to get his groove back, sure he's been swatting shots like usual but it seems he's not having as big of an impact as he was before his injury

Hornet
Hornet

MANDRY

buzz
buzz

Laundry!! he takes it out......

Chuck
Chuck

I had no idea Landry had the ups he showed tonight. Maybe that's something they teach in Sacramento, because they all seem to have it...then again, I guess Peja missed a few lessons

QueenBee
QueenBee

"Maybe that’s something they teach in Sacramento," He was doing that in Houston too.

Kevin
Kevin

I don't like to say it, but since he's alright... maybe Chris' knockout served as a little wake up call that he's still the best and most vital player on this team. Four more shots than he's taken in any one game all season; seven more points.

Jordan
Jordan

That dunk by Landry on the trailing feed from Ariza was VICIOUS!!!!! It's been a while since we've had a big that could leave mid-lane, double-clutch and finish with the thunderous slam!

Jerry M
Jerry M

Good win. The only thing that bothered me was Jack's swagger. He appeared to be aggravated about his amount of playing time. We have all heard the rumors that Jack is not happy about his playing time. But I hope it's untrue. I like what he brings to this team and he was amazing the other night. Did anyone else see that tonight? And why didn't Jack get more PT than Green or Belli?

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

I hate both Jack Swagger and Jack's Swagger. Sorry couldn't resist.

QueenBee
QueenBee

"We have all heard the rumors that Jack is not happy about his playing time." I've never heard that. Are there any quotes from Jack saying this? Surely Jack didn't think he'd get starters minutes in New Orleans behind Chris Paul did he? I've never heard anything about him being unhappy about pt.

42
42

He was playing over 24 mins for many of the prior 10 games.

Justinho
Justinho

I don't know about the first part, but my thoughts to the question posed are that the situation just really didn't warrant Jack being out there. Several factors contributed to it IMO. Belli and Green have been shooting fairly well of late, particularly the former. Jack would have had to guard Thornton had he been in with the starters which seems like an awful matchup for him. But mostly it looked like Jack just wasn't all that effective tonight - just didn't look on. He was just ok in the minutes he got without CP on the floor and pretty poor in the time with CP. And that's ok. He is a backup guy and Paul was going all scorched earth. But I do hope he realizes his role.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

SHEESH lots of quotable quotes from Ryan this recap. BTW, ANOTHER RECAP OF A WIN! Ryan is on a roll!! a few quotes i'll remember: "The one bucket Thornton got was a tough leaner with Willie practically trying to have his babies." "With the game being called really tightly, Gray didn’t have a prayer." "I’m on a roll with butter and garlic."

Monty'sDoghouse
Monty'sDoghouse

Landry might have been the right decision, but it doesn't make the sadness go away. MT looked like a lost puppy longing to find his way home. For such an awesome CP3 display, the arena sure didn't feel abuzz tonight. Coincidence? Not a chance. I was cheering both MT and the Hornets tonight and not a single person around me in my section was bothered by it. I expected it to be different than it was. Instead, it just feels sad. Tonight, if Marcus cared to look, he would have seen that his owners sorely miss him. And even if that dog would have given rabies to their child, it's the fact that the future will forever be unknown. This is the last night that we can ever truly feel the way we did for Marcus. As time spaces, the hurt will subside. We can only hope that our dog found an owner that will take care of him and make him happy. It's time to forget about us Marcus. Because we will forget about you. We have to. Tonight broke our hearts one last time. The healing begins.

42
42

Doghouse: your passion is clear, always has been. That's what makes you a great fan. This is one of the best comments ever. Slow Clap . . . who's with me?

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

*slow clap* no clap for me?

42
42

Ha! You know we mathematicians are going to stick together.

nikkoewan
nikkoewan

well said. the loss of Marcus means so much more to NOLA because he carries a special bond with the crowd. But getting Landry will heal the wound, fast.