Hornets Hand the Wizards Their 25th Straight Road Loss of the Season

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Published: February 1, 2011

The Hornets beat down the Washington Wizards 97-89,  in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated. Throughout the second half the Wizards were down by double digits, and it wasn’t until the closing minute that they were within seven points in the second half. Even then it was only for a moment.

This game was all Jason Smith, as he was slamming home dunks, rolling for sweet layups, knocking home his signature jumper, and really just keeping the offensive wheels rolling for the Hornets. In the first quarter alone he scored 10 points and pulled down 3 boards to go with a steal on 5-5 shooting. For one game, he made Hornets fans forgot all about Emeka Okafor.

Smith finished with 20 points (all in the first three quarters) on 11 shots. He added five rebounds and an MVP of the game award from Hornets fans. Needless to say, this is not what was expected of Smith coming into the game. He’s not going to bring this every night, but for tonight at least, he was the man.

Nick Young was one of the one bright spots for the hapless Wizards, who lost their 25th straight road game, scoring a game high 30 points on only 18 shots. The Hornets struggled to guard him all night. The other two players who were effective were big men Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee. Surprisingly, McGee saw very limited time, despite the Hornets having nobody to match him. Flip Saunders really didn’t make many good adjustments tonight, choosing to match whatever Monty threw at him rather than utilize his size advantage. McGee and Blatche were +2 and +4 respectively, the highest on the Wizards squad.

I’m going just about all bullets tonight, along with video of the post-game press conference, and some locker room quotes.

Game Notes

  • The usual offensive forward, David West, wasn’t required to do too much, scoring only 10 points on 10 shots. He added 7 rebounds.
  • Monty said DJ Mbenga would back up Jason Smith in the pre-game, and then gave him only 3 meaningful minutes. The benefactor was Aaron Gray, who came in and acted like a monster. Sure he’s one of the slowest guys on the court, but he went to the floor at least three times after loose balls, grabbed a team high 7 rebounds, and went 2-2 from the floor in only 13 minutes.
  • Chris Paul just owned John Wall all over the place. Sometimes when I watch Wall play I’m fairly sure he’s going to at least get close to Paul’s level in a few years. Tonight I was wondering if there was something wrong with him. Perhaps playing on Washington takes it’s toll. Wall finished 2-10 with 4 points, 7 assists vs 3 turnovers, and 6 rebounds.
  • Paul on the other hand did whatever he wanted, scoring 15 points on 9 shots, dishing 9 assists vs 2 turnovers, and recording 5 boards and 2 steals.
  • Rashard Lewis and his contract are a joke. The guy fouled out after scoring 4 on 6 shots and grabbing 3 rebounds in 28 minutes. He made a quarter of a million dollars ($250,000) for that effort.
  • If Thornton seemed to score just about all his points on intentional fouls late in the game, it’s because he did.
  • Attendance was 13,921. Not great, but considering the walk-up attendance was proabably about 13 people total, and the game was against the Wizards, it’s not too bad.

Monty’s Postgame Press Conference (partial)

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