Kings’ Inability to be Good at Basketball Results in 110-95 Hornets Victory

Published: February 24, 2013

The Hornets played far from their best game tonight, but against a team as disorganized as the Kings, they were still good enough to cruise to an easy win thanks to a dominant fourth quarter.

After this game’s first three quarters, the Hornets were clinging to a six point lead, but the team was clearly not satisfied with their performance to that point. There were only two reasons that Sacramento was still in the game at all. First, though New Orleans had committed was winning the turnover battle 12-7, Sacramento was performing much better in transition, outscoring them in fast break points 18-8. Second, while the Hornets’ 49.3% to 42.2% field goal percentage advantage looked nice, they only held a slim 50.7% to 48.4% effective field goal percentage lead thanks to the Kings knocking down 8 of their first 12 three point attempts. Everything else was dead even; both teams had made eleven free throws and collected the same amount of offensive (11) and defensive (21) rebounds.

In the fourth quarter, however, Sacramento’s luck ran out. Excluding the last minute of the quarter (when New Orleans emptied its bench), the Hornets stretched their six point lead to 20 as Ryan Anderson (13 points) and Roger Mason Jr. (10 points) combined to outscore the entire Kings team (17 points) by themselves. The Hornets’ best two 3-point shooters made 4 of their 5 attempts from long range and went 3-3 from the line in the period. Couple that with again limiting the Kings to an eFG% under 50%, and the result was the Hornets running away with this one.

Three Keys to the Game

  1. Crash the offensive glass. The Hornets pulled down 15 offensive rebounds from their 44 missed shots, resulting in an offensive rebound rate of 34.1%. Naturally, this means that the Kings sported a defensive rebound rate of 65.9%, even worse than their league-worst 69.8% DRR coming into the game. Coach Williams obviously made this a priority with his bigs tonight, as  Davis, Lopez, Anderson, and Smith combined for 13 of those 15 (Anderson led the way individually with 5). The result was 18 second chance points, nearly four points higher than their 14.3 average per game. The only negative is that on the other side of the court, the Hornets allowed 20 second chance points on 11 offensive rebounds, a disturbingly high conversion rate.
  2. Take high-efficiency shots. In the second and third quarters, the Hornets scored 49 points on 46 shots. In the first and fourth quarters, they scored 61 points on 46 shots. The difference? Shot selection. In the second and third quarters, the Hornets attempted 69.6% of those 46 shots from the paint or the 3-point line. In the first and fourth quarters, the Hornets attempted 87.0% of their shots from those two high-percentage areas. When the Hornets got to high-efficiency spots on the court, good things happened for them.
  3. Disrupt passing lanes. The Hornets allowed a slightly higher assist/turnover ratio (1.53) than the Kings’ league-worst 1.33 average, but New Orleans held them to 20 assists, right in line with their third-worst 19.8 assist per game average. No one Sacramento player finished with over five assists, and their offensive sets were frequently iso-heavy. If not for making 12 of their 19 three-point attempts, this game likely would have been a blowout.

Other Notes:

  • Davis earned the game’s MVP award, making 9 of his 14 shots for 20 points and 8 rebounds. It seemed like every time he had the ball, he was throwing another dunk down. It looks like the game is starting to slow down for him.
  • The Kings’ John Salmons was 6-7 from the 3-point line, but 0-7 inside of it. That’s just so, so Kings.
  • Eric Gordon finished with 17 points on 13 shots and tallied 8 assists; that’s the good news. The bad news is that he committed a game high 5 turnovers, a problem that has been a recurring one since he returned to the lineup. It was nice to see Gordon displaying improved ball distribution ability, but the turnovers really need to come down.
  • Anderson and Smith were stat sheet fillers this evening. Anderson finished with 17 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and a block, and Smith totaled 8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, and a block. Nice, well-rounded work from the Hornets’ two reserve big men.
  • Apart from Gordon, no other Hornets player turned the ball over more than once, and they only coughed it up nine times as a team. Greivis Vasquez was tonight’s poster boy for this stat, dishing out 13 assists while only committing one turnover.


The Hornets return to action Tuesday night at home as the Brooklyn Nets make their only trip to New Orleans.


  1. Snow

    February 24, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Overall, good game by the team!

  2. JJacob

    February 24, 2013 at 10:19 pm

    Good game! Jason Smith and Boogie Cous were really getting in to it with each other!

    -What’s up with Xavier in that picture? hahaha

  3. jsl05

    February 24, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Stat of the day: Hornets now 20-0 when outscoring opponent

  4. mojart

    February 24, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    “FINALLY” a win…

  5. 504ever

    February 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Was at the game in very good seats, thanks to no one wanting to go to this 5:00pm tip off game. Search for tickets on-line if you can’t get some for free. They are dirt cheap for some games and you can evaluate the Hornets yourself.

    I looked at match-ups exclusively. The first thing I noticed was Gordon initiating more of the offense than in the past and playing the game without tiring. Maybe initiating more offense was a factor in his high turnovers. Vasquez was posting up 5-9 Isaiah Thomas successfully until an early Sac. time out. He went back to it later when Thomas guarded him again. Davis took a number of good 16 footerish shots and made over half. When they put a small player on Anderson, he was a beast inside. He is not just a 3 point shooter.

    Lopez won the battle with Cousin’s hands down. Most of Cousin’s point were scored over other players and did you see the Hornets start the 3rd Quarter with Lopez going at Cousins (successfully) three straight times? That’s when Cousins first started to quit. Yeah, in the beginning of the 3rd Quarter Cousins started walking up court on offense with a bewildered look on his face. (I never want to read another post here about the Hornet’s acquiring Cousins again. He is cancer. The same with Jimmer F. He is so slew footed I expect him to trip himself when he walks. He looks very unathletic in general. I don’t expect him to be much in the League, although he got screwed on a charge call when the Hornet player clearly should had received a blocking foul in the 1st Half.)

    The Hornets completely outplayed Sac. in the 3rd Quarter. Only Salmons, turn back the clock, amazing 3pt shooting masked how much the Hornets outplayed Sac. in the 3rd Quarter. I think Salmons was 5-5 on 3 pointers in the 3rd Quarter. This wasn’t just a scoring boost, it opened up the floor for other Sac. players to score.

    By the end of the 1st Quarter, all of our 2nd team players had scored. This led to them all scoring at least 5 points except the single digit minute quintet. Rivers is better. He looks less scared and a bit stronger physically, although he had his traditional one of his shots at the basket blocked. He also hit a nice corner three early after he first entered the game. Mason may be a keeper for another year. A veteran who can shoot 3s, and does everything else well, is a pretty nice piece to have. He defense was pretty good, too. Smith was solid again. Aminu didn’t get many opportunities to score but had some nice outside looks and makes. Aminu was scoreless in the first half, but played within himself very well.

    That’s all I got for now.

    • Jason Calmes

      February 24, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Must have been some good seats to come up with all that…

      • 504ever

        February 24, 2013 at 11:39 pm

        Row 1 for $30!!! Only the Floor seats were closer!

      • Jason Calmes

        February 24, 2013 at 11:46 pm

        I love my seats and the people around me, but I may take a little vacation to floor for a game.

        And your ticket was literally more than 10,000.000 times cheaper than Benson’s . . . relish it . . .

      • 504ever

        February 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

        There is a Row C in front of Row 1, which you can’t figure out online, but no one was siting there. And there were Row 2 and Row 3 seats available at even cheaper prices. Why? It was Sacramento at 5:00pm on a Sunday.

        You should be able to find good values for certain games the rest of this season, next season may be another story. I used to go once a year in the CP3 era and pay $125ish for a Row 15ish center court seat. Those days will come again but, until they do, I might be back in Row 1 or 2 again. So don’t buy them all up, guys!

  6. Chuck

    February 24, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    I’ll be honest, I was absolutely shocked when I saw those 8 assists by Gordon. It seemed like every time he drove he either scored, got fouled, or turned it over. I was just thinking towards the end of the game that Monty has to get him to distribute more or risk him turning into a very talented chucker. Was anyone else shocked by this, or was I just somehow missing it?

    • 504ever

      February 24, 2013 at 11:42 pm

      No he got the ball in transition, too, and distributed it well. But the offense ran through Gordon more than normal starting in the 1st Quarter. It was clearly part of the game plan.

    • Hank

      February 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      seemed to me like he was looking for Davis every time down the court and he got him some easy dunks

  7. Cloud520

    February 25, 2013 at 9:06 am

    13:1 assist to turnover ratio? That’s insane. Go Greivis!

    • Andrew Smith

      February 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      It’s more insane if he can do it consistently

  8. GerryV

    February 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    I sat in my seats in a state of disbelief as i watched Vasquez with the ball in his hands 22 ticks on the clock vs Dallas take a horrible shot.I asked myself,”why does he have the ball in an ‘iso” while Gordon is parked in the corner? Isn’t Gordon your best iso guy? of course he is! Horrible late game play! A game the Hornets should have won.

    The Kings were simply one of the worst defensive teams i have seen this year on Sunday evening.The Hornets punished them with 62 in the paint,11 dunks. The Hornets could cut to any open spot the desired.The more ball and player movement the Hornets played out and the worst the Kings became.

    The Kings acted like a very immature basketball team as their body language was awful.Thank goodness i was sipping a great milkshake,fries,burger and chocolate covered mints to save my eyes from watching this very poor defensive effort.

    Nice work by the Hornets for laying out some punishment vs the Kings.

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