Hornets Hold On, Beat Jazz In Mardi Gras Extravaganza

Published: February 13, 2012

Chris Kaman came through big, despite being a game time decision, as the Hornets held on to get a glorious win in their final home game before the annual Mardi Gras road trip.

It was over when: Chris Kaman hit a jumper with 4:05 left in the third, capping a 16-0 Hornets run that spanned five and a half minutes.

It was really over when: Following an absurd Earl Watson three pointer, Gustavo Ayon slammed home a dunk. Marco’s steal on the other end  with a minute forty to go put the ball in the Hornets hands with a seven point lead and 100 seconds to go.

OK, seriously, it was over when: After two offensive boards by the jazz with 25 seconds left, Favors made a layup to cut the lead to three with 21 seconds to go. Kaman was fouled on the other end, and made one of two. That would wind up being enough, as Burks missed a floater the next time down the court.

MVP: Kaman by a mile. Every time the Hornets needed a big shot, they went to Kaman. He delivered just enough to secure the W.

That was… “Interesting”– Eric Gordon was tweeting about Syracuse in the first half. After a twitterfire broke out, he started tweeting about the Hornets.

That was… “meaningful”— This game felt so much more important because of the Mardi Gras themed night.


Utah Jazz 80 FinalRecap | Box Score 86 New Orleans Hornets
Trevor Ariza, SF 33 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 5 REB | 5 AST | 9 PTS | +9Ariza did a little bit of everything, as he’s always expected to do. I didn’t see too much to speak of, but he had a nice game all around. The biggest moment of his night was a rebound with 13 second to go that sealed the deal. It was fitting that he grabbed the final board after the frustrating loss on Friday.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 36 MIN | 6-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 9 REB | 1 AST | 13 PTS | -3Gustavo was near perfect on offense and SO active elsewhere. Even though his box score looks pretty good, it was the things he did that won’t show up that were so important. For example, aside from Okafor, I don’t think anyone locates their man on box outs as well as Ayon. He was a beast tonight, and proved yet again that he’s already an NBA caliber player. AYONABEDATGOOD!
Chris Kaman, C 42 MIN | 12-22 FG | 3-4 FT | 13 REB | 2 AST | 27 PTS | +11Kaman was the Hornets work horse on offense tonight. When they needed a bucket, they threw it to him in ISO for jumpers and some low post work. He also provided the rebounding the Hornets needed, and clogged the middle just well enough so that the Jazz couldn’t make layups (I kid, the missed layups were their own fault). The Hornets went to him late when others struggled, and he came through. While in the end he wasn’t that efficient, he was irreplaceable out there for the Hornets.
Marco Belinelli, SG 34 MIN | 3-13 FG | 6-6 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | +2Belli’s better half showed up for the first half of this evening. Dunks and threes and steals and fast breaks were ALL on the menu for tonight, although in very limited portions. Frankly, I ate it up anyway. It’s so fun watching Belli when his shot isn’t completely off and he’s attacking the rim. Too bad we don’t see that more often. In the second half he was what some would refer to as sub-par. Others would say garbage. Since we won, I’ll stick with sub-par.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 38 MIN | 4-12 FG | 3-4 FT | 4 REB | 10 AST | 12 PTS | +11Greivis did his thing, keeping the ball moving for the Hornets and actually doing a nice job hanging on D. He’s one of the leaders out there right now, which is kind of hilarious since he wasn’t on the team three months ago. While he could have been a bit more efficient as a scorer late, I’ll take his final numbers any day of the week and twice on Fat Tuesdays.
Lance Thomas, F 11 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -2Thomas was one of the weak spots tonight, as he simply looked smaller and less familiar with the NBA game than his opposition. When you’re smaller, less familiar, and less talented than the guy you’re matched up against, it rarely turns out well. Tonight was no exception.
Donald Sloan, PG 8 MIN | 1-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 2 AST | 2 PTS | -3Sloan actually played some nice minutes for the Bees, but just didn’t get a few floaters to fall. Sample size was too small for me to really grade him fairly.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 25 MIN | 1-4 FG | 2-3 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 4 PTS | +1Aminu had a dirty dunk in the early fourth, but that really masked what was otherwise an underwhelming performance. I dig his work on the glass and on D, but he’s a liability on offense as of now. When the balls gets to his hands it’s just seconds wasted for the most part.
Xavier Henry, SG 14 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-7 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | +4When the Hornets got Henry at first I wasn’t very excited. I had, after all, seen his performance last year. Tonight wasn’t much like that. He was attacking the rim every chance he got, and keeping his head on a constant swivel on defense, really doing well as a help defender without leaving his own man open. I was impressed with what he did on both sides, and had Belli not been playing so well I think he would have seen ever more time. It wasn’t a perfect performance, but I came away optimistic about his future. His free throws are sort of a joke, except not in the funny way. Hard to give even a B when he can’t get the free ones.

Five Things We Saw

  1. When the game ended, the place exploded. No joke. There was confetti, streamers, dancing, LMFAO (or whatever), and screams of joy. It was glorious. We’re going to the Superbowl!!!
  2. The Hornets forced 9 turnovers in the third quarter, their highest total in any game this season.
  3. Utah attempted more than twice as many free throws in the fourth quarter (16) than they did in the other three quarters combined (7).
  4. That was the first Hornets win against a Western Conference opponent this year.
  5. The Bee-Zanies did a great job tonight. The crowd was a bit apathetic in the beginning, but they kept it interesting in the lower bowl.


Post Game Stuff

  • I asked Monty about Vasquez developing as a leader. He said that he’s a natural, and that he’s obviously getting better. Sometimes he said it’s essential, since Gustavo doesn’t really speak English.
  • I also asked him who Vasquez is most similar to at his age, and who could sort of model his game after. Monty went with Eric Snow.
  • Monty–“This is one that our guys deserve to enjoy….we played hard tonight and fortunately we hit some shots.”
  • Monty– “They missed a ton of shots inside, and I think that Goose was big”.
  • Monty– “In the third quarter we had 11 consecutive stops, and that broke a record for us”.
  • Monty– our guys have continued to fight and they do it for eachother, they do it for the fans.”

Also, We talked with Jarrett Jack after the game, and he said he expected to be back in action this Friday. So there’s that…

Great game tonight. I haven’t gone home this happy all year.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.