The Hornets beat the Clippers

The Hornets barely broke a sweat as they demolished a severely depleted Clipper squad at the Arena tonight. Our guys didn’t look all that interested but still managed to win 107-80, our biggest margin of victory this season.

Diving right into a bullet or two…

  • Rasual Butler was the main event. He came out on fire, dropping 18 points before 14 minutes had ticked off the game clock. He’d get a little heat-checky later in the game but still wound up with 27 points on 8-14 shooting, including 6-10 from deep. It was great to see him bounce back strong from a miserable road trip, during which he scored a total of 21 points (7-21 FGs).
  • Defensively, Butler didn’t have a great night, but that was a tough assignment he had trying to slow Eric Gordon. The Clippers rookie was much too quick and left Sual in the dust repeatedly. It wasn’t that quickness off the dribble that impressed me most about Gordon though; it was how well he could absorb contact and go right at bigger guys in the lane. The kid finished with 15 points and 4 assists, and I’m sure he’ll be making noise in the NBA for years to come.
  • A relatively quiet night for West and Paul, finishing with 12 and 10 points respectively. CP also added 7 dimes, while West dished 5 of his own. Paul did go a little super nova in the second half of the third quarter, seemingly coming up with every loose ball, rebound and lost child in the Arena. The Clips were within 9 with 6:46 to play, but that tear helped stretch it to a 20-point gap by the end of the period.

  • Paul played 29 minutes tonight. West played 30. That’s good.
  • Tyson had himself a double-double, clocking out with 13 points and 11 boards. I’m not convinced he had a great game though. Marcus Camby seemed to be having his way with him in the first half, and whenever TC tried to make a bucket that wasn’t off a lob from CP, well, that rarely had a happy ending.
  • Ryan Bowen and Julian Wright were inactive again, and Morris Peterson didn’t check into the ballgame until 3:06 remained in the fourth quarter and we led by 22. I know it’s sadistic to complain after a 27-point win, but the previous sentence makes very little sense to me.
  • As mentioned in the previous couple of posts, the Clippers were depleted for this game. Very depleted. Baron Davis, Chris Kaman and Zach Randolph all sat out with injuries and Ricky Davis was suspended. The Clips are in such dire need of healthy ballplayers that they went and signed 2-guard Fred Jones to a ten-day contract yesterday, and played him 33 minutes against the Spurs last night, then 24 minutes in New Orleans tonight. He went scoreless against the Hornets, missing all three shots and turning the ball over twice.
  • Tough night for L.A.’s Mardy Collins. He got to defend Chris Paul early in the game and David West later. Collins is 6-6 and listed as a point guard, meaing he was shit out of luck in both of those match ups.
  • Posey and Daniels were great off the bench. Daniels was a little more trigger-happy that we’d seen him before, but he missed just one of his six field goals and racked up 5 assists. The rest of our reserves didn’t give us much, save for that chill-inducing offensive board and power jam by Hilton midway through the second quarter.
  • We turned the ball over just 8 times and shot 11-21 from deep. We also out-rebounded the Clippers 38-35 and gave them only 12 free throw attempts. That all adds up to an easy W.
  • Lady beside me during the third quarter, when Brian Skinner got his closeup on the big screen: “What the hell is wrong with his chin?”
  • I’m too lazy to check this, but according to Hornets radio dude Sean Kelley, the Hornets hadn’t outscored their opponent in the second quarter for 13 straight games. That streak ended tonight, as we beat the Clippers 30-26 in the period. Worth noting though that we outscored them by at least 7 points in every other quarter.
  • Seventh sellout of the season tonight, fourth consecutive for the Hornets.

Tough to get excited about this win. While we definitely took care of business, got our big guns some nice rest and even got to witness an epic garbage-time showdown between Sean Marks and DeAndre Jordan, I came away from feeling a little empty inside.

But then I threw some beer and pizza into me and I felt fine.

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