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Hornets Give the Game to Warriors

Published: January 20, 2013

The New Orleans Hornets lead the Golden State Warriors by 2 with 70 seconds left to play in the game. One of the largest crowds this season is attendance after a series of things going right produced win after win after win for a team that could not do anything but lose in prior weeks.

The Hornets stopped the Warriors’ attempt to tie, so they have the ball and a small lead . . . a far better position than when they were 11 points down with 70 seconds left to play in the first half.

Davis inbounds the ball to Eric Gordon, connections between these two being too few for the taste of Hornets fans making this a wonderful sight. With no pressure, Gordon marches the ball up across half-court. Klay Thompson waits for him at the top of the arc, but does not press.




Davis sets a screen on Thompson after 10 seconds have bled out, leaving Ezeli on Gordon’s right, the direction the play is going. Thompson sticks with Gordon after a two step chase after Davis, so now Gordon is double-teamed beyond the arc after moving deliberately along the line to his right.

Someone is open, right? Yes. Of course. Four is still bigger than three.

Anderson has been given some cushion in the corner to Gordon’s right. Davis drifts back into the paint, ending up under the basket. Greivis races to the arc from the baseline to Gordon’s left, and Aminu is the in far corner.

Gordon passes cross-court and diagonally the ball to Jarrett Jack after 3 seconds, slowly following the guard as he earns two trips to the line, eventually converting both.

The issue here being, of course, that Jarrett Jack was traded to the Warriors this Summer. Warriors tie. 52 seconds left.

Ok. Tie game. Pressure on.

Jen Hale tells us that the plan is to force a switch so Gordon can get the ball and make a play.


Mason inbounds to Gordon. Thompson, again, meets Gordon near the arc but applies no pressure. Vasquez sets a screen about 6 seconds into the play. The smaller Curry sticks with Gordon. It’s an iso, and Gordon is dribbling while surveying the court. Anderson, again, is in the corner to his right but with less cushion than before. The other three are clustered in the far corner. Gordon starts to back Curry past the arc . . . Gordon crosses the line and makes his move. He takes a 20 footer with 10 seconds left on the shot clock, missing it short. Rebound: Thompson. Timeout: Warriors. 34.7 seconds left.

There’s time for a two-for-one, but the Hornets will be hip to that. Nothing easy.

Out of the timeout, Thompson inbounds in the frontcourt to a streaking Jack who left Vasquez in his dust. He curls around into the paint, drawing attention from Davis and Smith. The floater goes over them and into the basket. Less then 3 seconds expire. Hornets down 2, 31.8 seconds left.

4 point swing in two full possessions, mind you. Remember this.

This time, Vasquez bring the ball up. With 25.8 seconds left, Smith sets a moving screen. Turnover.

The Hornets have to foul at this point, which they do. Jack makes one of two free throws, growing the lead to 3 and leaving 22 seconds on the clock.

Mason inbounds to Gordon who is streaking with a trailing Thompson. He curls into the paint with Thompson now, somehow, at his side. This is looking a great deal like the Jack curl, and that turned out pretty well. A quick 2 here closes the game to one. Foul again if you can’t steal the inbounds, and keep it going. The Hornets have a timeout, so it can work. Gordon enters the paint . . . floa . . . no, pass to an open Vasquez . . . clang. Warriors rebound. Foul. Jack sinks both free throws. Down 5, 15.7 seconds left.

No miracles happened, but Mason missed a three and Gordon had the ball stolen from him by Thompson. Mason got a garbage 2 to close the game, bringing the final differential to 4.

Rewind . . . when could we see this unraveling? With 10:26 left in the game, Rivers got called for traveling (good call) when initiating a move against Jack. Monty very clearly told him repeatedly, gently, firmly: Slow down. This had to be repeated to others. It just had to.

That was the game. Monty even talked about the youth on the team showing tonight.

The upside of this is the the Hornets did this to themselves. They likely win if they don’t pile up mistake after mistake after mistake. Mistakes happen, and capitalizing on them is how teams win games in many cases. This is exactly why the Hornets can not simply manufacture more when the other team fails to do so on their own. I’ve heard of Southern hospitality, but this is excessive.

More good stuff . . . Gordon, Aminu, Anderson, and Davis all had good games. Rivers put up a good performance in his 14 minutes: 4 of 6 for 8 points with 2 assists, but with a cost of three turnovers.

Other bad stuff that has to get mentioned . . . Davis was 2 of 7 from the line. This free throw shooting woes continue, and I worry. Vasquez’ 15 assists compared to 2 turnovers were likely not enough to make up for his woeful shooting: 3 of 10, 2 of 6 from 3, no free throws attempted, for a total of 8 points on 10 shots. Also, the team shot 13 of 23 from the line, with half the misses coming from Davis. In a game where you lose by 4 (or 6 if you wish), even hitting free throws at that league-bottom 68.1% changes the character of the game. Meanwhile the Warriors went 30 of 35.

I can’t tell if this is good news or bad news . . . the Hornets out-shot the Warriors 57% (79 attempts) to 49.4% (77 attempts) and lost.

Besides free throws, no other stat really jumps out. They just gave it away, plain and simple.













  1. xman20002000

    January 20, 2013 at 1:00 am

    Some may argue Coach could have changed the rotation although Roberts might have made a difference… all in all you have to agree this one was on the players…. and notice Vasquez scored only 8 points… oh well…

  2. RonJohn

    January 20, 2013 at 1:02 am

    If AD had made his free throws during the game, we wouldn’t have been in that last minute situation in the first place. GSW would have been fouling us instead.

    BTW, what happened to the defense tonight? Did it go watch Krewe du Vieux?

  3. bywas2008hornets225

    January 20, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Ummm i know you guys are trying to remain professional….. but a blind man could see that all the non-existent fouls called for Golden State helped them win this game, Point blank. we may have messed up a ton, but lots of calls went their way in the second half, many of them tic tac calls that where not the same on the other end. all most half of their points in the second half were off of FREE THROWS! that is all.

    • ImSorryMonty

      January 20, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      I will say this, Carl Landry was literally grabbing Anthony Davis and throwing him out of the way all night and I don’t remember one offensive foul call. Also, that Thompson “steal” at the end of the game was a clear hack on Gordon’s wrist. When you give the other team as many ticky-tack calls as the GSW got last night, you absolutely have to blow the whistle in that situation.

      • houp garou

        January 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

        I know I was screaming at the tv about landry bullying ad too. But you might have missed it, they finally did give ad the call at a crucial juncture late in the 4th, and on replay it looked like anthony even flopped a little

    • houp garou

      January 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

      They were calling some ticky tack s@$t peaking with givng steph curry free throws for being hip checked by his own man, not even making any physical contact with a hornet!

  4. ImSorryMonty

    January 20, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Rivers played a great game as the backup PG tonight. This loss isn’t on him or lack of Roberts.

    I place the blame of this loss squarely on Monty Williams. Why Davis rides the bench til 5min left in the 4th when Smith is playing like crap and Davis is the best player on the floor on the night is beyond me. That defense/offense subbing bullcrap at the end of the game was beyond patheticly stupid. Why it takes us 67 points into halftime to figure out that Gordon should play 1 on 1 defense on Thompson instead of rotating on the perimeter is also beyond my comprehension.

    Look. Monty is a top 10 coach in my opinion. But he got way to cute tonight and our team looked ill-prepared for the matchup. Play your 5 best guys on any given night. It’s pretty simple.

    • 504ever

      January 20, 2013 at 10:08 am

      So Monty went 13-23 from the line in 4 point game? Passed the ball directly to Jack with a minute left? Made all those fouls early in the quarter(s)? You are way too hard an Monty and too easy on the players.

      Oh, and Rivers shot well but his assist to turnover ratio was 2:3 (with no steals). That make work sometimes for an SG, but will never work for a PG at any level.

      • ImSorryMonty

        January 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm

        Rivers was our best perimeter defender all game. Jack hit some miracle shots on him but he pressured Captain Jack excellently on the ball. Yeah he had a few turnovers but if you re-watch the tape, guys missed tons of open looks that he fed them. He should have easily had 5+ assists. Regardless, there is no way in hell Rivers runs the offense worse than Donald Sloan so I’m thankful Monty is actually letting him run backup PG.

        Look, Jason Smith is NOT Bruce Bowen. I have very rarely seen coaches do the offense/defense substitution at the end of games and normally when they do it’s to put in a LOCKDOWN defender. Even then, it’s nowhere near to the extreme Monty took it to tonight. Furthermore, I thought Ryno was playing extremely well on the defensive end in the 2nd half last night. He was way more in control, contesting shots at the rim, and just plain playing smarter. You just cannot get into the flow of a game playing tag every other 10 seconds, I’m sorry.

        I’m not way to hard on Monty. He coached a terrible game last night. He deserves a massive part of the blame for this loss. Yes, not all the players played well, but we scored 112 points and lost at home and alot of that was poor preparation and scheme while failing to adjust to what wasn’t working.

  5. Chuck

    January 20, 2013 at 2:38 am

    Jason, with all due respect, I think you write too elaborately. A game recap doesn’t need to be a fanciful narrative that follows the ball through every person’s hands. A simple game recap would do. Granted, I watched the entire game and it was definitely a good one, but I think you’re going a little overboard with the descriptions here. Just my 2 cents

    • JJacob

      January 20, 2013 at 9:09 am

      I know that I liked it. Didn’t really find it too elaborate. Just very descriptive. I was at the game and I still enjoyed hearing what happened in detail again. Can’t please everyone I suppose.

    • Nola Moondog

      January 20, 2013 at 11:15 am

      I had to work last night, so all I got was the game cast. Because of this I now know wtf happened when it looked like we had the game.

    • OkiThor

      January 20, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      I think he captured that moment in the game where, if you were watching, you thought to yourself “Oh shit! We are giving this one away.” If you watched the game the feeling makes sense. If not, maybe not.

    • Jason Calmes

      January 20, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Two things, Chuck:

      1) Feel free to share what you think a good, simple recap would be both specifically in this case or generally

      2) My idea is to give people enough information to know the important parts of the game in a way that adds to whatever recaps one will find elsewhere, as duplicating that stuff does nothing at all for the readers here. Was there a better recap elsewhere that really explained how the game ended up the way it did after the Hornets had both the lead and sente, or was there something left out of this that was of prime importance? If so, please point me to it.

      • downtowndave78

        January 20, 2013 at 9:04 pm

        At the Hive has 2 good recaps. Both of them question Monty’s end game substitutions and play calling while acknowledging the players mistakes throughout the duration of the game.

      • Jason Calmes

        January 20, 2013 at 9:16 pm


        I read the recaps. I like them.

        I also like this one and find it to include information not included in those and with a different presentation. So, mission accomplished, right?

  6. Cajun T

    January 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    For most games, a blow-by-blow narrative would be inappropriate. But for this game, it’s not only appropriate, but necessary. It explains HOW the Hornets lost the game.

    Hey Jason, I’d like to take you up on your offer of tickets. What do you need from me to get it done?

  7. Pingback: Hornets Lose to Warriors, 116-112 | NOLA DEFENDER

  8. cantrellejobie37

    January 21, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Mission accomplished! That is what makes this site what it is. Giving different outlooks, all of the yahoo’s and espn’s of of the world give mostly the same recap version. Mainly who led the team in scoring and any obvious last second shots or what have you. Tis why im a faithful hornets24/7 reader and fan. Couldn’t ask for a better site for my favorite team in the world!
    Geaux hornets

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