Hornets Demote the Kings to Jesters

Published: April 11, 2012

Hornets beat the Kings behind one heck of a performance by Jason Smith and Marco Belinelli.


It was over when- Al-Farouq Aminu smashed one home with 9 minutes to go to get the Hornets lead back to 11. The Kings wouldn’t go away without a fight on offense, but defensively they were a complete mess. If you can’t stop the Hornets sans Gordon, Jack and Ariza, from scoring, you need to rethink your defensive philosophy. Obviously that didn’t last though. No Hornets game is over with nine minutes to go. Despite the Hornets offense clicking, the Kings got the deficit back to only 6 when Tyreke Evans hit a J. Vasquez followed with one of his own, but Evans again found net after a nice drive, cutting the lead to 4.

No really, it was over when–  After that the Hornets just slowly grew their lead, and in the end they prevailed pretty easily.

MVP: Jason Smith and Marco Belinelli brought it tonight offensively, scoring a combined 43 points on only 21 shots. They were feeling it.

Defining Moment: Jerome Dyson’s first NBA point was a driving layup that led to an and-one.

LVP: None

X-factor: Fourth quarter scoring. The Hornets have had a hard time finishing games this year on the offensive end, but tonight they scored 26 on just 14 shots.

That was…surprising: The Hornets didn’t blow their double digit fourth quarter lead. I’m shocked! Shocked I tell you!

Tweet of the Day: @bradhand: @Hornets Having so much fun at my first #Hornetslive game. Sitting next to my friend Larry is a dream come true.

(Larry is Larry Holder from CBS Sports, BradHand is Brad Handwerger from WWLTV. This is a joke)

Sacramento Kings 96 FinalRecap | Box Score 105 New Orleans Hornets
Jason Smith, PF 27 MIN | 10-12 FG | 2-4 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 22 PTS | +11J-Smooth was feeeeeeeling it tonight on offense. He missed a few boards that had his name written all over them, but otherwise I didn’t have much to complain about.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 28 MIN | 2-4 FG | 3-4 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 7 PTS | -14Farouq is starting to look a lot more confident out there, albeit against sub-par competition. He found a little more success than usual (aka some success) taking it to the floor, and only made two boneheaded moves on defense. It’s nice to see some continued improvement from him on both ends. I’d expect him to keep seeing major minutes throughout the rest of the season.One thing to note is that the team was much worse when he was out there as opposed to Henry. That might be because Henry was playing so well, but it’s something to keep in mind going forward.
Chris Kaman, C 35 MIN | 3-9 FG | 2-2 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | +4Kaman wasn’t there on offense tonight, but board-wise he did what was needed. With Smith struggling on the boards someone had to pick up the slack.
Marco Belinelli, SG 30 MIN | 5-9 FG | 8-9 FT | 3 REB | 3 AST | 21 PTS | +4Beli and Marcus always go at it when these teams match up and tonight was no different. On defense Marco was getting frustrated, but he gave it better than he took it tonight, and in the end that was probably the difference between a win and a loss. It’s not ever day that you get 21 points on 9 shots.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 35 MIN | 6-12 FG | 2-3 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 15 PTS | +3Greivis was a bit less sure-handed tonight than in the past few games, but that didn’t stop him from controlling the offense when he was on the floor. If this is what a bad game looks like from him, then he’s better than we thought he was.
Carl Landry, PF 21 MIN | 2-6 FG | 4-8 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS | -2I guess Carl played alright, but against the bench of Sacramento I expected a little bit more.
Lance Thomas, F 4 MIN | 1-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | +7Thomas didn’t see many minutes, but he did alright in limited time.
Jerome Dyson, G 23 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-3 FT | 3 REB | 5 AST | 3 PTS | +7Dyson played the first game of his career, had his first points, his first and-one, his first 5-assist game, and his first steal. Yes, sir!
Gustavo Ayon, PF 12 MIN | 2-3 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS | +6Ayon is clearly still not himself, but he did some nice board work in limited minutes.
Xavier Henry, SG 24 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 14 PTS | +19I’ll take one of whatever he had. Henry looked really impressive on both ends, driving and finishing on offense, and using his length on defense to make life tough for his mark. The result was a team high +15 to go with a super efficient 14 points on 7 shots.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Monty said before the game that he doesn’t see any reason for Okafor to play anymore this season. He also said that Ariza is healthy, and that Ayon has been slowed by multiple small injuries. He added at one point that it amazes him that Belli knows multiple languages, adding “where does he find the time?”
  2. How can someone be as talented as DeMarcus Cousins and still be so insistent on hurting his team so regularly on both ends of the floor?
  3. Not a bad game by Thornton, but he did have a team worst -13. Just sayin…
  4. The crawfish boil for season ticket holders before the game was pretty sweet.
  5. Hornets are a game and a half behind Washington and three and a half games ahead of Sacramento (in the race to the bottom).


  1. Mike P

    April 11, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    Tonight was the first time I saw Smith get an isolation on offense. His growth this year has really impressed me. That turnaround jump shot from the low block (which I think I’ve seen twice) gets me very excited for his future.

    I was also happy to see both X and Aminu have good nights. Aminu played good defense on Evans, forcing him into some bad jump shots. Also played passing lanes well with his excellent length and quickness.

    Overall, good night to be a Hornet. I really think there’s no chance for us to “catch” Washington, so as long as we stay behind Cleveland I’m happy to win some. Bodes well for our future.

  2. HoumaHornet

    April 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Looked like the Kings went into tank mode in the fourth and the Hornets couldn’t tank fast enough. I didn’t see Cousins on the floor at all in the 4th.

  3. BigEasyBaller

    April 12, 2012 at 12:03 am

    The future is bright!! I think Henry is going to be good, I def want him on our team for the future.

  4. Ron

    April 12, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Could Gustavo be distracted by some drama surrounding his new child?

    • C.C.

      April 12, 2012 at 12:44 am

      It’s a plausible theory. Maybe his newborn child is screaming and crying at all hours of the night and he can’t get any sleep. Or something like that.

  5. Rocco

    April 12, 2012 at 1:46 am

    Again, we see Beli and the X man sharing the floor at the same time, with good results……The odds of next year’s roster containing the quartet of gordon,aminu,beli and henry is getting shorter all the time.

    • sundance

      April 12, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Not sure about the thumbs down, but I do agree with you. Xavier can play SF as well as SG, and is much more offensive-minded than Aminu. I like the duo of Marco and Xavier on the floor together because when B is hitting his outside shots it allows X to play aggressively around the basket.

  6. edbballin504

    April 12, 2012 at 7:15 am

    Anyone know why Jim Gray was at the game last night??

  7. Mikey

    April 12, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I think Ayon has just hit that “rookie wall”. This is a super-condensed NBA season, lots of games, and not much time off/practice time, coupled with an extremely short training camp. My biggest worry for him, once he started playing regular minutes, was his conditioning. Plus, teams have tape on him now. They know what he likes to do, and take that away. Give him a full off-season, and he’ll be fine. I’d like to see him in Vegas this summer, if possible.

  8. kempleton

    April 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    (Okafor-Ariza-Gordon-Jack out!) Hornets win! Tonight’s win gave me a lot of confidence for the future. I remember the first time I watched Vasquez, Henry and Aminu at the Arena. Especially Vasquez and Henry matured a lot! They know what they are doing out there and they play with a lot more confidence. Aminu looks like he is going to be a decent bench player with his size and athleticism.

    I am not sure if the front office will bring Belinelli back but. Think about the backcourt of our second unit next year including Vasquez, Henry, Aminu. If you consider that we might sign a starting PG and add J-Jack to the bench behind Gordon. Wow!

    That looks like a strong bench to me! Nice…

  9. bywas2008hornetfan225

    April 12, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I’m not completely sold on xavier. Don’t get me wrong. He can be great. But he seems to lose his confidence to fast! Starts to play scared some nights

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