Hornets Win Three-Point Contest, Defeat Clippers

Hornets go 15 of 25 from deep to end seven game losing streak

The three’s were falling yet again tonight, coming from unlikely sources- same as it ever was. Over the past month we have seen Toney Douglas, both Morris brothers, Kevin Martin, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., and Paul George all have career games from deep against this horrid perimeter defense and tonight was no different. Caron Butler set a personal and franchise high with nine 3’s tonight against the Hornets. A guy who hit just 15 in 13 games hits 9 against us. So it goes.

But tonight the Hornets responded with a three-point barrage of their own, going 15 for 25 behind the arc. Ryno went 5 for 9, hitting 4 of his last 5 after starting off cold. Greivis Vasquez exploited his six inch height advantage over CP3, going 5 of 8 from deep. And the Schwan jinx finally paid off as Austin Rivers found his groove and hit 3 of his 4 from distance. The ball movement was fantastic throughout the game and the Clippers perimeter defense seemed a step slow all night, and both of those factors contributed equally to the best perimeter performance we have seen in years.

And while he didn’t attempt one 3 in this game that had 62 between the two teams, Jason Smith impacted the game in a multitude of ways. Defensively, he frustrated Blake Griffin all night, holding him to a career low 4 points on 1 of 9 shooting. Offensively, he was as efficient as ever, scoring 17 points on just 8 shots. He also had a rare 5 point possession, as he was on the wrong end of a Matt Barnes elbow that was called a flagrant one. He calmly sank all three free throws and then took the ball strong to the hoop for a layup when the Hornets got the ball back. This game will be remembered for the incredible three-point display, but without Jason Smith, the Hornets aren’t winning this game.

Notes and Observations

– Austin Rivers made mistakes tonight, but overall this was by far his best game as a pro. 14 points on 9 shots, just 1 turnover, and 6 assists that resulted in 16 Hornets points as 4 of the assists were kick outs for three. His first step made the Clippers defenders look like they were standing in cement and the only three he missed was a 30 footer that he had to take at the end of the shot clock. His drive and kick game was beyond impressive and on a night when Greivis Vasquez had 8 turnovers, Rivers was by far our most steady ball handler. He still has a long way to go, but anybody who legitimately thinks that there is any possibility that he will be a bust just isn’t watching close enough.

– People have called me crazy for saying that I would take Ryan Anderson over Blake, both short term and long term, but I stick by it and perhaps after tonight more people will jump on the bandwagon. Blake will sell more tickets, get on SportsCenter more, and create more buzz, but none of that matters to me. Ryan Anderson is just so much harder to game plan for and he can actually effect the game even when he is not scoring. And Davis over Blake is another no-brainer, especially when you project long term. I guess what I am saying is, CP3, if you are serious about wanting to win a ring, there is no better big man combo in the league to run the P&R with. A more deadly version of West and Chandler is waiting for you in the Big Easy!

– I feel like I say this in every recap: Greivis Vasquez has the unique ability to both be the best player on this team and the worst player on this team within the same game. I mean, 25 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds against the best PG in the league is amazing. But 8 turnovers and half a dozen near turnovers, combined with over dribbling that lead to taking bad shots at the end of the shot clock is equally maddening. At this point though, I’ll take it and we just gotta hold out hope that the good play will continue while the bad plays will diminish as he gets more time with his teammates.

– Al-Farouq Aminu’s stat line looks solid, but if you watched the game you realize that he was the primary reason that Caron Butler posted 33 points in this contest. He was caught looking at the ball or cheating far too often, and the result was an effort by Butler that was reminiscent of the one we saw from Paul George last week. I can live with the two or three times per game that Aminu tries to dribble and falls to the ground, turning the ball over, but the mental lapses on defense are unacceptable. That is his role on this team and if he can’t handle it, Dell Demps must move on and find a small forward who can.

– Robin Lopez got 21 minutes tonight, only 9 of which came in the second half and none of which came at crunch time. That is the way it should be. Ryan Anderson got 35. Again, the way it should be. When Davis comes back, I hope that he and Anderson hover around the 35 minute mark, Smith gets 20 and Lopez gets 12-16.

– And finally, for those who had not heard by now- YES, Eric Gordon was on the bench for the Hornets. He told reporters that he was optimistic about how the rehab was going and that he is feeling better but still has no idea when he will return. All I will say is that Davis and Gordon were front and center for this game and they saw their teammates pour their guts out in this game to get a win against a superior team. If this doesn’t make Gordon anxious to get back, nothing will.

60 responses to “Hornets Win Three-Point Contest, Defeat Clippers”

  1. Always good to beat the Clips. CP3, why don’t you play for a real team like the Hornets?

    Open the matrix Austin Rivers!

    • Rivers is obviously working on his shot and his game… You can tell he is working on his shot and the light bulb has obviously hit thinking “I can do this”… I never hated on him but questioned his selection at first until checking out his skills, pedigree, and tenacity… The boy wants it and he is like the Mannings of basketball…

  2. Amen. Gordon smiled. We could have lost, and I’d still be happy with Gordon smiling and being into the game.

    As an aside, the Clippers are punks. The techs, two flagrant fouls.

    Also, Ryan Ander$on. Bam!

      • Right now the Suns are a better team but that will change when Davis and Gordon are back in the lineup

    • It was nice to have Gordon on the bench supporting his team against his former team. Side Note: Was he taking the role of a Pseudo-Assistant Coach because Gordon knew the Clippers well? (He did spend a season under Del Negro’s Coaching in LA.)

    • To be fair, I wouldn’t say the Clippers as a whole are punks. Matt Barnes has always and will always be a punk, no matter what team he is on.

  3. I dont wanna hear nothing about austin rivers being a bust after this game….He is obviously getting better and more confident in his shot…His ball handling is superb and his first step is looking real quick..Nice game AR..Keep saying good morning…

  4. I loved this game so much! My favorite game since beating the Lakers in a playoff game 2 years ago. To beat that traitor CP3 in his home (I don’t care, that’s how I feel about him) and then have Eric Gordon their showing support (Which I haven’t doubted since the press conference earlier this year unlike some of you *cough* Michael *cough* but still great to see) If we don’t turn it around this season and continue losing at least I’ll have this game to look back on and feel good about. Optimism is alive if only ’til the Thunder come back in town LOL, Geaux Hornets!

  5. I enjoyed much more tonight watching CP3 try to score his way to victory and fail than I ever did when he was a Hornet. Such a wicked pleasure….

    Punks: Griffin, Barnes. I’d rather have DJ Mbenga than Griffin, let alone any of our current big men.

    Heroes: Smith, Rivers, Vasquez, and Anderson. Smith gets the game ball for leading the bench mob that outplayed theirs by a wide margin.

    Praise to our guys for playing through a wildly officiated game where there had to be at least 20 uncalled fouls spread about evenly between the teams. We didn’t whine or get down, we just played tough.

    • I actually agree with you, I’d rather have DJ Mbenga over Griffin because of experience. (Remember the 2011 Matchup against the Lakers? The only reason it went 6 instead of 4/5 like everyone predicted without our leading scorer was because Ariza and Mbenga coached everyone a crash-course on the Triangle Offense.) Besides Mbenga doesn’t need the flashy dunks. He’s an offensive rebounder, content to get 2-6 PPG, 3-5 Boards, including 2-3 Offensive Boards.

  6. great victory by the hornets….i just post yesterday that i miss winning….and now they WIN…..you forgot MM that roger mason also play 22mins tonight….27mins for rivers…..that is the way it should be also….confidence booster game for austin rivers…hopefully it continue….momentum is back on our side….lets continue to play smart and good basketball…

  7. Glad we beat the Clippers after we blew it last year.. I love beating media darling teams. Not sure what Blake Griffin had for breakfast, but he was horrible tonight. Anderson also did a really good job on him, working his butt off to keep Griffin from getting deep post position.. if he didn’t, Blake would’ve taken him to school. CP3’s body language before/after Anderson’s step-back three was priceless. He started to guard him, sorta lackadaisically, and then realized Anderson was about to pull up. One of those “are you serious?” moments. If you have synergy, go to Anderson’s playoff 3s against Indiana, and you’ll see David West do the same thing.

    On another note, I tend to be a little harsh on Roberts sometimes, but it’s not really his fault: I just prefer Rivers running point. But he had a few close-outs on 3s that made me smile.

    Vasquez has periods during the game where he is incredible, but there is a stretch every game where he literally dribbles around the 3 point line because he can’t penetrate, and I’d like to see Monty quicker to put Rivers in when that happens.

    Jason Smith has to be public enemy #1 to Clippers fans. That said, I love that he didn’t back down after Barnes threw an elbow at him: that’s the toughness I want in players, and even when things are going badly (obv. not tonight), it appears that our guys won’t tolerate that crap.

    Anderson is incredible. 3s, sure, but it’s the little things.. I’ve counted 3 times this year where he’s followed a missed 3 with a drawn charge on the next possession. He should at least be our 2nd worst big pick and roll defender, yet he hedges like his life depends on it. Guy earns his keep and never takes a play off. I feel lucky to watch him.

    Vasquez/Rivers have huge cojones.

    • Jason Smith is a straight up beast. I love his intensity. He always brings his best against the Clippers. Guess he is as tired as I am about hearing Blake Griffin’s name.

      • Smith brings his best every night. He runs the floor like he’s trying to stop a bomb from going off. But you’re right, he was definitely amped up tonight. Loved his activity, loved this win.. I’m still happy about it

  8. Great game and win, team just didn’t quit.

    Was watching the highlights on NBA.com and it pissed me off… We won the game, guys played well on offense yet majority of the highlights in the game recap are Clippers and somehow Blake gets a highlight video for his dunk in a game he SUCKED and had 4 pts…. seriously…. Why did they not show Griffin’s face after he fouled out and they realized they had lost???? THAT was priceless.

    Rivers starting to show he has good potential when he uses his head, learning process and as long as he keeps developing I’ll be happy this season.

    Clippers collectively are the biggest c*nts… If CP3 wants a ring his going to have to join the other LA team or go somewhere else. Griffin has skills but is vastly overrated , Jordan isn’t a starting Center and I pity the few decent character guys on their team. Gordon should be happy he doesn’t have to play with them anymore.

    • Clippers are in trouble at the SF, they are tilted in talent in the backcourt. Chris Paul, Chauncey, and Jamal Crawford at the very least. Willie Green doesn’t hurt either. Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, and Lamar Odom are solid (Odom) or excellent players. The issue for them is when the SF doesn’t play within the flow of the game, because he’s either hyper-comptent on offense and doesn’t allow anybody else to flow with their shots (Butler and Griffin) or is hypo-comptent (makes mistakes)

  9. This is THE game we needed as a confidence booster… and Davis and Gordon were on the sidelines… This was a great game of coaching and if I am going to hate its on Vasquez… He had far too many turnovers and plays sloppy at times… His redeeming factor was his shooting, he is more a combo guard with length… 6″6 guards are hard to come by…

    Before the game watching the Grizzles I was watching QPon wondering why did we let him go for Vasquez… Currently its about a wash but we are growing and are still unhealthy… Aminu was a little sloppy and will get clobbered by the stronger SFs… But off the bench.. who knows….

    We have the space to bring in a SF or do we already have on on the team in Anthony Davis… What is his true position… But this is a talented bunch who appear to be learning each others tendencies..

    For those looking for favorable press… The LA media was shocked at how the Clippers got clipped… But its not one game but the body of work… We are going to have to get a string of WINS getting out of the dog house… let’s just get to .500

    • No idea why this post would get 8 thumbs down and only 2 thumbs up. Seems like a solid summary of some of the good and bad points about the game and the work we have yet to do.

  10. Vasquez will be a more than adequate point guard with a talented ball handler and penetrator at the 2. (I.e. Eric Gordon or a further developed Rivers) when he is in the back-court with Roger Mason then there are issues, he needs another ball-handler to relieve the pressure.

    • Maybe Aminu could start working on being able to at least dribble it up the court, (I’m not saying call out plays, but if it’s a transition situation, Aminu ought to be able to go coast to coast, something that he needs to sorely improve on.)

      • That’d be awesome but he can barely keep a dribble alive standing still with his right hand. Him pushing the ball with those loose handles would be disgusting

  11. “We lost to a very — let me choose my words — not very talented team, but well-coached,” Paul said. “I’ve watched every game that they’ve played. And one thing about Monty is, he’s going to have them playing hard. So waiting for the fourth quarter to turn it on was going to be tough for us. Greivis Vasquez was feeling good tonight. I think he’s on his way to his first All-Star Game.”

    Wow. Great game for the Hornets. I would love for CP3 to raise the talent level and come play for a real NBA coach next year.

    • I beg to differ CP3, it’s more like injuried, Austin Rivers — #10 pick in the draft. Anderson — defending MIP , Vasquez is 5th in the league in assists. That’s some talent. And we’re missing the #1 overall pick in the draft, our leading rebounder as well as our leading scorer, whom HE was trading for. Think about that.

  12. I think deep down inside that CP3 wants to come back to New Orleans!!! He could be exactly what we need with the young team we have!!!

  13. Hornets and Clippers definitely are both teams that hate each other…

    Bravo, mr. Vasquez! Bravissimo! It only remains to control the number of turnovers. But you get there…

  14. Aminu seems to be more of a Power-Forward stuck in a Small-Forward’s body. He has trouble in semi-transition defense, is always the first to go double team and leave the shooter open, and he’s unable to get back onto his man on time if the opponent gets an offensive rebound and uses their next shot selection competently.
    Will all of our injuries, Vasquez and Anderson are our two most offense-produced players. I’m not as concerned about Vasquez’s turnovers. Those will decrease as Davis and Gordon get back and get the defense focused back on them and off of Vasquez, and hopefully decrease the time the game spends in semi-transition that stings Aminu.

    My concern with Aminu is that even though the organization is under a completely regime that Aminu will end up like Hilton Armstrong and Julian Wright. The Hornets never took the time to develop Armstrong, and he became a bust instead of similar to Tyson Chandler.

    If the Hornets play it right with Aminu, he could be just like Trevor Ariza with less long-range capabilities. Perhaps they should bring in someone, either a veteran player or a coach who can show Aminu the finer points. Aminu has talent but is unrefined.

    I also want Austin Rivers to come off the bench when Gordon gets back for three reasons: #1. It shows that on the court, this is Gordon’s team. #2. Rivers gets go up against the bench as opposed to the starters (and unless it’s Milwaukee or someone like Jamal Crawford) which ought to make it easier for him to put up stat-lines like he did in this game. #3- Rivers develops into a new version of Vinnie Johnson, the Microwave. Johnson was a Combo Guard off the bench that Chuck Daly used as either a PG or a SG, and I see the same potential with Austin Rivers.

    • Couldn’t agree more about Rivers. His passer vision is much better than I thought it would be at this point and I only see it getting better. Through his few games he has shown consistent improvement and hopefully, last night’s game skyrocketed his confidence.

      • Currently Rivers is our best back court passer and has a quicker first step than anyone except Gordon… i don’t know about Aminu who plays young.. an “Ah shucks” type of player.. LOL.. he is almost comical at times with his expressions..

        It will be interesting to see how Miller develops… Davis and Gordon might return together… Some of this discussion will become moot… Anderson, Rivers and Aminu off the bench… We might bring in a SF…

  15. It was very nice to get a win. Our bench was tenacious. I hope we can turn this into a trend. We are still giving up way too many open threes.

  16. CP3 said the Hornets aren’t a very talented team but are well coached in his postgame interviews. I will pos t the video later.

  17. Great, fantastic, glorious win for the Hornets! Outclassed, outplayed, and out hustled the much-hyped, but overrated Clippers! Without CP3 that’s a 30 win team, if that.
    Great game from Vazquez despite the turnovers. At times it seemed like him and CP were jawing and going at each other, a matchup which Vazquez owned.
    I agree that it was great seeing E Gordon smiling and rallying his teammates from the sideline. Now if he can just get on the court!
    And forget about CP coming back in reality or in jest. Loved him when he was here, but he turned his back on us when we needed him most, in search of fame and glamour. Bye CP.
    Playoff-type atmosphere between the players in November!?! Happy to get the victory!

    • Chris Paul will always have a place for New Orleans but he is a Clipper and was almost a Laker… They have to be loyal to their careers… But some of us think we have to stick with this group in total… NO… Coach is doing a great job with what we have.. But we have 13 on the roster and can carry 15 if I am not mistaken…

  18. Aminu needs to practice his ball handling..Falls or is ripped up every time he is asked to put it on the floor…Imagine if Aminu had handles and could get to the rim off of the dribble consistently..Also, Smith should be starting over Lopez..Lopez needs to work on his footwork, he just looks awkward every time he touches it..Lopez should be the teams enforcer..The guy that goes in and make hard fouls and play wildly..When the hornets get healthy they will have a deep roster and should start AD at SF…Aminu off the bench.Anderson at PF. Smith at C. EG and Vasquez..Rivers and Rogers off the bench

      • I agree Lopez has a better game when Davis is in there.. Anderson and Smith in rotation are lights out off the bench.. look at the scoring… But Lopez is avg. 10.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg. and 2.2 blkpg.. He is more a traditional big with Smith avg. 8.5, 3.3m and 0.9 so they complement each other…

  19. Amazing game! Almost makes up for the 6 losses.
    I love the rivalry they’ve got going, and Griffin having his worst game is the icing on the cake 🙂

  20. I didn’t watch the Clippers/Hornets game but man was I surprised to read that the Hornets won!!! I am a CP3 fan but I am the jilted girlfriend, still mad at him for leaving but waiting for him to call me (hahahaha). I agree that he has made the difference with the Clippers team and without them they would suffer greatly. Plus he’s the coach on the floor…without him DelNegro would be history. Maybe I’m reading too much into his post game comments but he had glowing “coaching” comments for Monty, don’t you think??? I think he will be back, but enough speculating. The guys are hardworking and with Smith and Anderson giving great hustle, they can only fire up the rest of the guys. This gives me momentum and I’m just a fan so you can only imagine what it must be doing for the players. Maybe EG has been converted and I’m glad to see posters on here showing him love for his enthusiasm! If you’re reading this EG, see how much a smile and supporting the team can do to mend the hearts of Hornets fans everywhere. I’m gonna get an Anderson, Smith, Davis and Rivers jerseys and wrap them for the tree.

  21. The biggest problem for the Clippers is their failure of a coach. If it wasn’t for CP3 running the show the Clippers would be a disaster. If they want to get anywhere soon they need to sack VDN and get a real coach.

  22. Blake Griffin about Jason Smith:

    “I just don’t like him as a person. Playing hard is something different to be unfair. You know what I’m talking about. Matt’s reaction was just a consequence of taunts him inside the game. He should know that tomorrow is a different day and we’ll meet again,” Griffin said. “I didn’t a good presentation and I wasn’t who I used to be. You know, our team must defend with more intensity. They had a lot of freedom to attack in the floor. Especially with Anderson and Vasquez. They shouldn’t have the breadth they had. This is something about how we need to improve”.

  23. Great win for the Hornets. Best team effort of the season. Anderson, Smith, Vasquez and Rivers all had gut check moments especially late in the 4th quarter. Wonderful to see EG engaged in the game and with a big smile all night. I guess he’s in LA to rehab those facial muscles. Best moment was toward the end of the 4th period when Rivers hit that 3 and started jarring at the Clippers on the way back up the court. The camera got a shot of AD on the bench pointing to his head and looking at Rivers. He was saying to Rivers to stay focused and keep your head in the game. Impressive maturity for the rookie.

    • It was a solid win. But honestly, I thought Gordon looked like he was peeved. I didn’t see much of a smile.

      It was more like the “smile” he showed when it was announced he was joining the Hornets franchise.

  24. While winning against the Clippers garners all sorts of emotional responses on the part of Hornets fans, if we don’t build on this, then it becomes meaningless.

    Clips are dealing with their own issues and have now lost 4 straight. I also don’t think Griffin is 100% yet.

    Plus, we haven’t solved any of our problems. Perimeter defense was non-existent again and we let a dude who looks like he’s on the back end of his career set a franchise record in 3s against us. Overall, we finally broke our streak of allowing 100+ points but at 98, that’s not saying much.

    Good thing our outside game was on as well, but I’m not counting on hitting 60% of our 3s again.

    Hope Rivers, Vasquez, smith and Anderson can build on this otherwise, like I said, it’s menaingless and reality is still that we’ve lost 7 of out last 8.

    • Totally with you on your comment summarizing.. DON’T START TRIPPIN…. Looking at the schedule, we have the Jazz, Thunder, Bucks, Lakers, Grizzlies, and the Lakers… in that order… at home then we go to Miami on the road… LOL..

      We beat the Clippers after losing to the Rockets, Thunder, Bucks, Knicks, Pacers, Suns and Nuggets.. So I am sure Coach and the team realize we won ONE game after losing to the aforementioned teams…

      • Yikes. I hadn’t even looked at the schedule yet.

        If that’s the case then I think the best case scenario would be something like 7 – 13 after the next seven games you mentioned assuming we beat the Jazz and Bucks and win one against one of the Thunder, Lakers or Miami (I guess we could conceivably surprise the Lakers once in the state of flux they are currently in).

        Worst case scenario around 5 – 15.

        Either way, I’m guessing that we are miles and miles away from being compeititve.

  25. AND let’s not forget Billups is on the bench… That’s like Steve Nash and EG being out… So with Billups who are the Clippers… another level…

  26. What a night! Watched till 68-63 and had to go to the delivery room to have my first son, and found out later the L streak was over winning the game i wanted the most. Life’s good!

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