Hornets Lose a Depressing Game to the Raptors

Published: February 29, 2012

Tonight sucked if you are a Hornets fan. They lost to the Raptors 95-84.

The Hornets got all new club seats over the break, and let me tell you that they are extremely plush.

It was over when- the Hornets finished the third quarter on an 11-4 run, taking a 7-point lead into the fourth quarter. Hornets are awesome in the fourth, so that was that.

It was really over when– The Raptors opened the fourth quarter with a predictable 24 point burst in the first six and a half minutes. The Hornets didn’t counter effectively, and trailed 86-79 with 5 and a half to go. That was all she wrote.

These four things are what I contribute to the ESPN Daily Dime. You can read them there as well.

MVP: Linas Kleiza lit it up, scoring 21 points on 13 shots. He was 5-7 from behind the arc and nailed two big threes that silenced the Hornets crowd in the fourth.

That was… unfortunate: The Hornets had a mouse in the media room pre-game, less than 20 feet away from where they serve food. The Jumbalaya did taste a bit off today…

X Factor- Samuel L Jackson was in the house wearing a Reservoir Dogs shirt. As it turns out, he’s a Raptors fan. Usually Hornets fans heckle opposing fans, but Jackson got a pass, likely for being the most terrifying person in the Arena.

That was… odd: After holding the Raptors to just 11 points in the third quarter, the Hornets gave up 24 in the first six and a half minutes of the fourth.

Jake Madison’s Villain of the Game Award: I actually wanted to give this award to both teams at one point because, in all honesty, that was a pretty boring game for the most part. But instead, it goes to Linas Kleiza. I wasn’t really sure who he was and had to look up that he used to play for the Nuggets. Tonight, he put up 21 points and was a key player off the bench for the Raptors. Seriously, LINAS KLEIZA! I really hate when marginal players have great games against the Hornets, so I’m proud to give him the inaugural Villain of the Game award.


By the way– Jake contributed to this recap. Bench grades are all him.


Toronto Raptors 95 FinalRecap | Box Score 84 New Orleans Hornets
Trevor Ariza, SF 36 MIN | 5-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 5 AST | 11 PTS | -2Ariza was all over the place tonight, racking up assists, boards, points, and defensive stops. I feel bad that he has to spend his first year post-awful shot syndrome on a losing team. This is the Trevor Ariza that the Rockets thought they were getting a few years back in free agency.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 27 MIN | 5-8 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 11 PTS | -3Ayon was pretty quiet tonight, as he was out-muscled down low regularly. He had a fairly efficient 11 points on 8 shots, but was largely ineffective otherwise. Defensively he held his own, but didn’t put on a shot by any means. In the end, the Hornets needed him to corral a few more boards and box out a little bit better if they were going to survive the fourth quarter.
Chris Kaman, C 26 MIN | 6-14 FG | 5-6 FT | 10 REB | 1 AST | 17 PTS | +8Kaman did most of his work against former Hornet, Aaron Gray, and won the battle handily, just as we expected him to. While Kaman wasn’t particularly effiecient, he was the voulme scorer that the Hornets need him to be early, but really disappeared late. He also was pulling down boards at a high level early on, but like his scoring, that fell of late. As usual he threw a few J’s and close shots up that missed everything. I guess that’s just the nature of his game.
Marco Belinelli, SG 40 MIN | 6-15 FG | 6-6 FT | 7 REB | 3 AST | 20 PTS | +5The man described by Dwayne Casey as “one of the best shooters in the league”, looked anything but that in the first three quarters. In the fourth he finally found his long stroke and nailed a couple threes, but he’s such a good shooter that that it shouldn’t be news when he makes two in a row. Still, if you’re looking for a reason the Hornets stuck around in the fourth, it was Belinelli. He also located quite a few boards, which is unusual for him.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 24 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 6 AST | 4 PTS | -11He lost his starting spot in the second half to Jarrett Jack, and never really got the minutes we’ve come to expect. I suspect it was because he wasn’t getting the job done defensively. He saw time late, but didn’t do anything to change the outcome in a positive way.
Jarrett Jack, PG 31 MIN | 3-12 FG | 4-5 FT | 5 REB | 6 AST | 10 PTS | -4Jack began the game on the bench but started the second half. He didn’t have a pretty shooting night but was aggressive getting to the basket and kept his teammates involved.
Solomon Jones, C 24 MIN | 2-5 FG | 5-6 FT | 6 REB | 0 AST | 9 PTS | -13He drew a couple of fouls and his 9 points look nice, but he was constantly getting outworked for rebounds and didn’t have a great defensive game. Still, it’s Solomon Jones.
Lance Thomas, F 11 MIN | 1-2 FG | 0-0 FT | 3 REB | 0 AST | 2 PTS | -10He got some burn right at the end but didn’t do anything to make me think he’ll still play once Landry comes back.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 15 MIN | 0-6 FG | 0-2 FT | 7 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -11His offense is still not there–evident by his 0 for 6 night from the floor–but his rebounding is solid. Unfortunately, tonight the Hornets really could have used any offense from him.
Xavier Henry, SG 6 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -14Barely played tonight and it was tough to grade him. So I asked the chat and they said…

Five Things We Saw

  1. Samuel L Jackson was in the house wearing a Reservoir Dogs shirt. Turns out that he’s a Raptors fan. Usually Hornets fans heckle opposing fans, but Jackson got a pass, likely for being terrifying.
  2. Johnny D told me he feels the same way about me that I feel about him. It actually made my night, contrary to what his intentions probably were. That’s the first time the TP has officially acknowledged anything that I or Hornets247 have done, except when they cited “Internet reports” as a source for the Gordon news we had a while back.
  3. I saw Gustavo arguing with the ref after he was held while going for an offensive rebound. It made me smile.
  4. The Hornets held the Raptors to just 11 points in the third quarter, turning a six point halftime deficit into a seven point lead heading into the fourth.
  5. If I see Solomon Jones shoot two more jumpers the rest of the year, that will be two too many.

Player Quotes

Aaron Gray on missing New Orleans: “They’ve made a lot of changes, the big Chris Paul trade, they’ve had a lot of injuries and they’re playing a lot of young guys. Coach WIlliams is doing a great job. I miss him and he’s a great family man. Hopefully, they’ll get the new owner in place and take off from there.”

Jarrett Jack on the fourth quarter: “I thought we settled somewhat. Honestly, I’m going to put this one on my shoulders squarely. This team looks to me for a lot, and I have to be the captain. I have to manufacture offense as well as shots for others late in games. I want to be that guy. I want the ball. I’m squarely just putting this one on my shoulders.”

By The Way: The Hornets gave out t-shirts for plotyourescape.com. I have no idea what it is, but Joe is wearing the shirt as a cape. So we had to point it out.


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