The Hornets beat the Bobcats

Bam! Make it a four-game winning streak, and we just sneaked ahead of Dallas in the standings.

Yup, the Hornets done beat the Bobcats on this fine evening, and not even an NBA TV blackout in New Orleans could ruin it for me. Here's the usual dose of notes regarding said game of splendid basketball…

West, owning Wallace

First Quarter

So I miss more than half the first quarter until I finally figure out a way to watch the game online. Mucho thanks to the HR boards for the tip off. And screw whoever decided to black this one out and leave the people of New Orleans without a way to watch their team play. Clever like a brick.

2:11 – Tyson rebounds a Rasual Butler miss and puts it home. He has 7 points and 7 rebounds already, and the Hornets are up 23-10. Sweet.

1:51 – Hilton comes in for Tyson, because ain't no ankle sprain gonna keep the young man down.

The quarter ends with Chris Paul picking off a Jeff McInnis pass and taking it to the other end where he misses a floater. Oh well. CP has 2 points and 5 assists after one, and we're up 28-14.

Looks like the Bobcats can't hit anything, shooting just 6-of-22 from the field, while the Hornets got the same number of looks but made half of them. Add to that, the Cats manage one assist in the whole quarter, while the Hornets had eight and zero turnovers. Night and day.

Second Quarter

The Bobcats take off on a massive 6-2 run, scoring on their first three trips, but then Rasual decides to take a charge on Gerald Wallace and gets the call. Nice play. I thought Rasual would still be avoiding charges after what Tyrus Thomas did to him last season.

So the Hornets have Jackson, Pargo, Wright and Armstrong out there with Rasual. The Bobcats see what we're doing and also put five players on the court.

8:29 – JuJu goes a little overboard trying to block Nazr Mohammed, and ends up sitting on Nazr's face. No, really. He actually sat on his face.

7:41 – Rasual drives hard inside and drops it to Wright, who throws one in over his shoulder. He's doing it all backwards tonight. That puts the Hornets up 37-23, and this second unit is starting to look mighty good.

6:10 – Nazr, obviously still feeling that shitty taste in his mouth, catches it in the post against Wright, turns and elbows the rookie in the face. An ass for an elbow. JuJu's okay though, having obviously been blessed with tougher eye sockets than Melvin Ely.

After the foul, Byron shakes it up so all the starters are back in for the Hornets. The Bobcats already have their starters out there, because their bench doesn't actually exist. Just so you know, our second unit started with a 14-point lead, and leaves with a 16-point lead. Me likey.

3:16 and Chris Paul drops one in the lane. That's just his second basket of the night, yet we're still up by 14 points.

1:17 – The Bobcats go to a zone but completely miss West on the baseline, and CP finds him for a vicious jam. A Raymond Felton turnover later, and there's Mo-Pete dropping a three off a feed from Chris. Hornets lead 50-31, and the way this one is going, Marcus Vinicius might play the entire second half.

0:06 – Chris holds it out high, letting the clock wind down, then gets a pick from Tyson and okie-dokes Emeka Okafor on the way to the hoop. Basket and the foul.

("Okie-dokes" is what Mikey SeasonTickets calls it, and it just sounds right so I'm rolling with it.)

So CP hit the freebie, and Jason Richardson shakes loose for a triple to end the half. 53-34 as they head to the break.

Exciting, isn't it?

Halftime Thoughts

  • I think we're witnessing this team growing up right now. The last few games they've gotten big leads and they've held on to them. Earlier in the season, you could be sure the other team would go on a run and get back in it. Now our guys seem to keep their focus and not give the other team hope for a comeback.

    Of course this thought is way premature since we're only at halftime and the Bobcats will probably outscore us by 25 in the third quarter.

  • Mikey's only here for the first half, but before he bolts, we come to the conclusion that the Bobcats' Adam Morrison, who's on the bench in street clothes, looks like the illegitimate son of the unabomber.
  • The Hornets have some balanced scoring going on. Nobody has reached double figures yet, but six guys have six points or more, led by Peja's nine.
  • The Bobcats suck tonight, but then I've said that about the Hornets' opponent in each of the past three games. Maybe we're just so damn good these days that the other team looks bad in comparison. Hmm.

Third Quarter

The Bobcats come out more aggressive in the second half, going at the rim much harder and stepping up the defense. 30 seconds in, Peja coughs one up to Gerald Wallace, but CP makes sure to foul a breaking Raymond Felton before Charlotte ends up with an easy two.

9:26 – David West comes up with a steal out high and feeds CP up ahead. Wallace is in hot pursuit though, and it looks like Chris will just drop it back to a trailing West for an easy bucket. But no. CP decides to try the layup, and Wallace kills it like his first name's William. Looked like this. Still Hornets ball though, until West turns it over and Wallace gets to the line at the other end. The score is 57-41 after he drops the free throws, and the Charlotte announcers wonder if that block might have been the turning of the tide for the Bobcats.

7:03 – Wonder no more, Announcer Dudes. On the break, Chris lobs to Tyson and we're back up by 21. Timeout Charlotte.

6:35 – Out of the timeout, we get another stop, CP breaks and finds Mo-Pete running the wing. Peterson gets his chance but can't finish, then Chandler comes crashing through the middle to ram home the put-back. Give him 13 points and 14 rebounds already.

5:05 – The Bobcats defense is so bad right now, I can't tell if they're playing man or if they're in a zone. I'm not sure they even know. Chandler just wanders down the lane untouched, catches a pass from West and crushes another one. 68-47 Hornets.

1:57 – Jason Richardson drops a tough three over B-Jax in the corner to make it a 16-point game. Give that dude 11 points this quarter, and 18 in the game. Byron uncrosses his arms long enough to call timeout.

Out of the timeout, Chris Paul does something magical to keep his dribble against an aggressive double team, and whips it cross court to Hilton Armstrong. Hilton finds an open Bobby Jackson, and he knocks down the three.

0:53 – Jeff McInnis comes up with a steal, then throws a pass between the legs of Matt Carroll. I'm not sure exactly how many unforced turnovers the Bobcats have, but six million sounds about right.

0:01 – Oh look, there's David West throwing down a put-back jam to make it 81-62 after three. How nice.

Fourth Quarter

We start the fourth as we started the second, while the Bobcats come out with McInnis, Carroll, Nazr, Wallace and Derek Anderson's new shoes.

Our second unit continues to play well for the first couple minutes, but then the turnovers come fast and furious. Luckily, the defense is still intact and nothing comes too easy for the Bobcats at the other end. Rasual Butler in particular seems to be on a mission defensively tonight. Either that or he swapped jerseys with Julian Wright.

5:24 – The lead is down to 14, and Byron won't have the luxury of resting his starters for the entire fourth quarter. Tyson and West check back in.

3:36 – A 9-2 run by the Bobcats has cut it to an 11-point lead, 90-79. The fans are loving it, probably because most of them are there to see Chris Paul and now he's gotta get back in the game and put this one to bed.

2:54 – But no, it's David West that's gonna take us home tonight. Guarded by Gerald Wallace, he fires in a hook in the paint, then takes it hard baseline on the next trip and gets another one to go. Tough.

2:26 – The Bobcats are trying to quicken the pace, but Chris Paul's got another game tomorrow and he'd rather walk the ball up the floor. He works some clock and feeds West again. This time, Wallace fouls him before he can do more damage, but DX gets his points anyway from the line. Twenty points on the night for that dude, and the lead is 16 again.

1:14 – After a three by J-Rich, CP comes down, kills some clock, and tosses up a 19-footer. He doesn't have the sweet stroke tonight, but that's okay because West snares his 10th rebound of the game. 24 seconds and no basket later, the Bobcats try to narrow the gap, but West ties up Gerald Wallace to force a jump ball.

A J-Rich runner and three Chris Paul free throws later, this one's in the books and we're done for the night.

Tyson, dunking like he means it

Postgame Thoughts

Final score was 99-85. We didn't quite break their necks in the second half, some dumb turnovers and motionless offense letting them back in it a little bit, but overall this was another solid win.

Chris finished with 17 points, 11 assists and no turnovers, Tyson got 17 and 17, and West finished with that 20 and 10. Peja and Mo-Pete were both cold tonight (combined 7-21 FGs), but the bench put some points on the board, outscoring the Charlotte reserves 28-17.

Now I know this four-game winning streak hasn't seen us play anyone with a winning record, but the wins have come by an average of 20 points, and three of the games were on the road. Also, this recent success has got to be doing wonders for the team's confidence, especially that of the second unit. Methinks the swag is enormous as we roll home to meet LeBron and the Cavaliers in a packed New Orleans Arena tomorrow night.

Linkage and I'm going looking for some ice cream: box | recap | standings

Oh, and in case you missed it, don't forget to check out Ryan's excellent post from earlier today: The Evolution of Chris Paul.

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