Hornets Put Forth Tremendous Effort but Fall in OT to Lakers

Published: March 14, 2012

The Hornets fought hard for 53 minutes, but the Lakers’ big three were too much for New Orleans to handle in the clutch.

It was over when: Metta World Peace pushed down stole the ball from Jarrett Jack, leading to a fast break bucket to put the Lakers up 102-99 with just 40 seconds to play.

It was really over when: MWP blocked a Kaman jumper with 14 seconds left, leading to two Bryant free throws to ice the game.

Hornets’ MVP: Jarrett Jack. 30 points for the Hornets’ starting point guard, who never backed down and showed an incredible degree of endurance as he gave each play 100% down the stretch.

X-factor: The size of the Lakers’ front court, as expected, gave the Hornets nightmares all game long. Kaman was the only active Hornet capable of banging bodies with either Gasol or Bynum, and that simply isn’t enough when you’re playing a team like LA.

Los Angeles Lakers 107 FinalRecap | Box Score 101 New Orleans Hornets
Trevor Ariza, SF 44 MIN | 4-13 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 4 AST | 9 PTS | -8If you’re assigned the task of guarding Kobe, you’re allowed a little slack in the offensive department. Still, Trevor struggled with his shot all game long and allowed Kobe to score 33 points on 23 shots, despite Bryant logging a combined 101 minutes over the past two nights.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 32 MIN | 2-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 4 PTS | -7Ayon struggled significantly to contain Gasol early as Pau raced to 10 quick first quarter points. He came down to earth afterwards, but Ayon never really made an impact on this game on either side of the ball, even forcing Monty to sub Thomas in for him late in overtime.
Chris Kaman, C 45 MIN | 9-20 FG | 3-4 FT | 12 REB | 3 AST | 21 PTS | -11Kaman started slow, but stepped his game up as it progressed. He led the Hornets in rebounds, and though he was no force on defense, he held his own against Bynum despite having little to no help from his various other front court mates.
Jarrett Jack, PG 39 MIN | 13-21 FG | 4-4 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 30 PTS | -5The best way to attack the Lakers is to go at Derek Fisher early and often, and Jack was up to the task tonight. He made his first 8 shots en route to a team-leading 30 points. He put on the blinders a little too much down the stretch for my liking, but you can’t argue with his overall production.
Marco Belinelli, SG 33 MIN | 4-10 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 2 AST | 10 PTS | -11Marco hit 2 quick 3s in the game’s first few minutes, but made just two shots from the field after that. Thanks to Ariza, Beli wasn’t forced to check Kobe, and he was serviceable enough on D to make sure World Peace didn’t surprise anyone by showing up offensively. Still, a fairly lackluster game from Beli, as we have come to expect.
Lance Thomas, F 18 MIN | 3-3 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | 0Thomas was solid off the bench, making all 3 of his shots, and stepped up when Monty called his number after Ayon struggled late. He did all you could reasonably expect him to do, given his skill set and thin frame.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 17 MIN | 6-7 FG | 2-2 FT | 3 REB | 6 AST | 15 PTS | 0Greivis followed Jack’s blueprint for attacking the Laker D pretty well himself, making 6 of his 7 attempts and leading the team in assists. Solid game for the Hornets’ backup point guard, and I’m not sure why he wasn’t in with Jack for most (if not all) of overtime instead of Beli.
Jeff Foote, C 7 MIN | 0-1 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | +5One block on Matt Barnes. Pretty much useless otherwise.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 24 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 0 AST | 6 PTS | +8All things considered, Aminu had a pretty respectable game. He didn’t make any stupid mistakes, stayed within himself on offense, and played well defensively.
Xavier Henry, SG 6 MIN | 0-2 FG | 0-2 FT | 1 REB | 0 AST | 0 PTS | -1Only 6 minutes of PT for Henry, as Monty utilized a Aminu/Ariza wing combo more than usual to match up with the size of the Lakers’ wings. Nothing doing for Xavier while he played.

Five Things We Saw

  1. Even when the Lakers have relatively dead legs, they can still rely on their solid interior presence to get buckets when they need it… and then there’s Kobe.
  2. Bandwagon Lakers fans. Everywhere. Thanks for your money, I guess… may as well take it from you guys since you all have no souls.
  3. The Lakers are completely immune to 3-seconds calls. Bynum finally got called for one in the 4th quarter after camping out literally all game. It’s incredibly frustrating.
  4. If Kaman is no longer a Hornet by 2 PM tomorrow, he did a fine job in his last game in a Hornets uniform. Solid work against formidable competition. He could absolutely help a contender.
  5. Can’t be done talking about this game without commending this Hornets team for hanging so tough. Jack, Vasquez, and Kaman put the team on their backs and fought up until the last minute of overtime. Hell of an effort.


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