« Game On: Mavs @ Hornets (With Live Game Chats)
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Hornets Beat the Stupid Mavs!
The Hornets nearly blew another fourth quarter lead, but recovered to win a nail-biter over the rival Mavericks.
It was over when- The Hornets led by 12 with 10 minutes to go following a Belinelli layup and then a Solomon Jones jumper. Ha! you know how this goes by now. The Mavs went n a 9-0 run later in the quarter to cut it to two.
It was really over when– Jarrett Jack hit a short jumper with 1:07 to go to put the Hornets up 7. Even they couldn’t blow that lead. Game OVA!
No, seriously, it was over when– Following a Dirk rainbow three and a Dirk steal that led to a fast break by Beaubois, the lead was back to 2 with 40 seconds to go. Hornets put the ball in Jack’s hands who dribbled it down to the closing ticks. His drive was unsuccessful. WAIT! IT WAS A SUCCESS! Hornets led by 4 with 18 ticks to go, and that truly was that.
That was… “Sweet”: Beating Dallas is always a pleasure, but with how many games the Hornets have blown in the fourth this year, and this one looking like one of them for a while, today’s win was extra sweet.
MVP: Jarrett Jack had the ball in his hands yet again late in the game, and he came through both with two big jumpers and with two similarly sized free throws shortly after. That said, Xavier Henry and Chris Kaman had big games as well, albeit in very different ways and at very different times.
X-factor: Belinelli body checked Jason Kidd into a ref and the scorers table midway through the fourth. The crowd never shut up afterward.
|Gustavo Ayon, PF 25 MIN | 5-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 10 PTS | -7Ayon was all over the place for a lot of the night against Dirk, giving him hell on defense, cutting all over the world on offense (to no real avail), and even taking a Dirk elbow to the face and coming away relatively unscathed. His numbers may not look terribly impressive, but as usual, he was doing all the little things well, and Dirk’s below-average game until the final minute is a testament to that.|
|Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 25 MIN | 3-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 8 REB | 3 AST | 6 PTS | -1Aminu wasn’t playing well, and saw limited time in the second half. He barely saw time in the fourth quarter, but it was his defense on Vince Carter’s late jumper that ensured the Hornets victory. On the bright side he continued to showcase the physical tools that make us all salivate, grabbing board after board.|
|Chris Kaman, C 39 MIN | 9-18 FG | 2-3 FT | 13 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | -2Kaman came out on fire, hitting his first six shots and winding up with 13 points. He slowed way down afterward, just like he did on Wednesday, scoring only 7 points the rest of the way. At least he was grabbing boards and playing decent D inside. He and Ayon aren’t a bad defensive pairing. He also had a key tip in with 2:10 to go that extended the Hornets lead to 7 when it appeared that things were starting to unravel. It was his fourth straight double-double.|
|Marco Belinelli, SG 37 MIN | 4-11 FG | 5-6 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | 0You can almost tell by the look on Beli’s face whether or not he’s playing well. Tonight it was hit and miss. He got to the line a few times, which helped the final result, but he didn’t really find his shot per se. Regardless, his body check of Kidd was key in getting home court advantage to be more of a factor.|
|Greivis Vasquez, PG 19 MIN | 1-6 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 7 AST | 2 PTS | +10It seemed like Vasquez had trouble re-adjusting to coming off the bench, and his stat line shows it. He was never really able to get into a rhythm offensively, finishing with just 2 points on 6 shots. That being said, he was able to get his teammates involved via 7 assists, and also had an impressive night on the boards with 6.|
|Jarrett Jack, PG 40 MIN | 5-12 FG | 4-4 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 15 PTS | 0Almost a below-average game from Jack for the first 3 ½ quarters, but when it mattered most, Jarrett stepped up, as he has become accustomed to doing this season. Jack finished with a decent 15 points on 12 shots in addition to 6 assists and 5 rebounds, but his 5 turnovers hurt a bit. Can’t argue with the end result, though. The closer closed, and that’s all that really matters in the end.|
|Solomon Jones, C 24 MIN | 5-9 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 0 AST | 11 PTS | +6Very solid game from Solomon tonight, as his mid-range jumper was on full display. Jones made 5 of his 9 shots and added 5 boards (3 offensive).Not only that but his late game defense was impressive. I want to be as clear as possible how off I was about Solomon’s jumper– 100%. Guy can hit it.|
|Lance Thomas, F 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +13Only 4 minutes from Thomas tonight, mainly thanks to the other Hornets big men staying out of foul trouble combined with the effectiveness of Jones.|
|Xavier Henry, SG 24 MIN | 8-12 FG | 2-2 FT | 4 REB | 2 AST | 19 PTS | +6A career night for Xavier, scoring a whopping 19 points on 8-12 shooting. Henry attacked the paint all night long and even looked good shooting from outside. I’m still not sold on his perimeter shooting ability, but as long as he keeps driving to the rim with this kind of ease and regularity, he could be a big part of the Hornets’ future. His previous career high in scoring was 14.|
Five Things We Saw
- Solomon Jones clearly has a decent jumper. I was flat out wrong to imply otherwise last game. I want you to really get how wrong I was…
- Samuel L was back in the house in the same seat as last game, and Jamie Fox made an appearance as well.
- Dell Demps will be out of town for most of the next month scouting players in college tournaments.
- I talked with Jason Smith and Emeka Okafor before the game. Smith is feeling better, but he’s still not 100%. Concussions are serious business. He was, as a result, in town for Mardi Gras. He didn’t celebrate, but seemed genuinely enthused to talk about what he was able to see. When he feels better I’ll follow upOkafor said he was feeling better, but he’s not back to normal. I asked if he would give a percentage for his knee, and he declined.
- We asked all the players about superstitions following Monty’s pregame comment about how he always goes the same way to the Arena. He does so because “there’s pretty much one way to go”. As it turns out, he’s not the only Hornet who isn’t superstitious. Lance Thomas puts his footwear on left to right, but other than that we didn’t hear too much of interest.
Mason Ginsberg contributed to this recap.