Hornets Beat the Clippers, Make Life Awesome

Published: March 22, 2012

The Hornets beat the Clippers in front of a fired up crowd and behind a killer effort by Jason Smith and Chris Kaman. Chris Paul WHO!?!

About that Chris Paul fellow…

He got mostly cheers early in the game when he was introduced, and got a huge round of applause when his video tribute was show after the first quarter. The boos never really came to fruition early on.  There were some, don’t get me wrong, but even David West heard a stronger chorus of them. There was the occasional cry of “traitor!”, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth that he really heard the boo-birds. Better late than never! I imagine they would have been worse had he actually done something in the quarter, but he didn’t.

It was over when- The Clippers/Lob City got hot in the second quarter and finished the first half with a whopping 58 points. Clearly that was enough to be killing…the… wait, what? THE HORNETS SCORED 54 IN THE QUARTER ON 62.5% shooting!!!

No really, it was over when– The Clippers went on a nice little 15-6 run to start the second, and things appeared to be getting out of hand, BUT THEN THE HORNETS STORMED BACK.

Seriously, it was over when–  After Jason Smith was ejected for a flagrant on Griffin, the crowd and the Hornets pushed the turbo button and entered some cheat codes. The Clips never stood a chance, especially with that bum CP3 running point. Isn’t he supposed to be good in the clutch? Hah! Hornets win!

MVP: Jason Smith. He did it all tonight for the Hornets up until his ejection. Blake Griffin won’t forget him anytime soon.

LVP: Chris Paul. Dude isn’t even on the Hornets. Talk about a non-factor…

Defining Moment: Jason Smith’s flagrant and consequent ejection

That was…dumb: Samuel L. Jackson wore a really dumb shirt with an even dumber number three on it during the player introductions. Oh, and what he said was mostly inaudible and not entertaining.

Tweet of the Day: @ArashMarkazi: Chris Paul couldn’t take his Clippers jersey off fast enough as he walked off the court.


Los Angeles Clippers 90 FinalRecap | Box Score 97 New Orleans Hornets
Trevor Ariza, SF 27 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 6 REB | 3 AST | 8 PTS | +3Ariza had a very quiet first half and then sat the second with what I at this point assume was a recurrence of his ankle injury.
Gustavo Ayon, PF 17 MIN | 4-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 8 PTS | -1This wasn’t a good matchup for the kind of small-ish Ayon. Griffin overpowerd him, Jordan looked down on him, and Martin was just as tough. Not surprisingly he barely saw time in the second half. Lance Thomas saw his minutes.
Chris Kaman, C 33 MIN | 5-13 FG | 3-4 FT | 9 REB | 5 AST | 13 PTS | -3Chewbacca WANTED this one and he did what he could to make it happen. Guess who didn’t let Griffin posterize him? KAMAN! Guess who led all scorers at the half despite taking only 7 shots? KAMAN! He slowed down in the second, but did what was needed in the end to seal the deal. This was one of his gutsiest performances of the year so far, and it was a joy watching him play.
Jarrett Jack, PG 31 MIN | 6-9 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 11 AST | 17 PTS | +1Jack really wanted to show CP3 and the world that he’s a quality player, and for the most part he did. He made a few poor decisions, and at times took it a little too much upon himself to create, but that’s OK. His numbers turned out great, as did the result of the game. He’s got to feel good about himself after that one.
Marco Belinelli, SG 30 MIN | 2-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 5 PTS | +1Marco came out hot in the first half, looking to make up for his worthless effort last night. He did. He played with fire, getting boards, assists, and buckets. The defense? Yes, sir. That was there tonight as well. This was one of his best games of the year, even if the numbers he put up weren’t awe-inspiring.
Jason Smith, PF 26 MIN | 6-12 FG | 0-0 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 12 PTS | -10Smith got the start and did a really nice job on Griffin. He had me thinking that unless he was on the floor there really wasn’t much chance of stopping him. Sure Kaman had a few nice block/fouls, but Smith was the one doing work on both ends against Griffin. Yeah, Smith is the man. Offensively he did work as well, but no play was as big as the body-check on Griffin late in the fourt that led to a flagrant 2 and an ejection. The fans LOVED it. I can‘t blame them. If the Clips are going to flop and flail then at least foul hard. Yeah, Smith is my favorite player by far. I loved his effort tonight, and his numbers reflect how well he played.
Lance Thomas, F 12 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 4 PTS | 0It might not show up in the box score, but Lance Thomas had some key minutes late in the game after Smith was tossed. He also saw a few minutes toward the end of the third quarter. Right away he drew Blake Griffin and had nice one-on-one defense that resulted in a missed shot. Griffin got the board by sheer luck, but the second attempt was no good either. On the other end he batted an offensive board back out for what turned into another possession. It was a nice minute. One thing he needs to work on is slowing down when closing out on defense.Overall I was really impressed, even if he’s just not physically able to guard bigger guys for more than a few minutes.
Greivis Vasquez, PG 22 MIN | 3-8 FG | 2-2 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 9 PTS | -13It was a quiet night for Vasquez, but he was on the floor most of the minutes the determined the outcome late in the fourth.
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF 16 MIN | 1-2 FG | 1-2 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 3 PTS | -11Farouq played a pretty wild 8 minutes on both ends. Sometimes he needs a shot of adrenaline or something to wake him up, but today was the opposite. He need to smoke some…tobacco and chill out. Monty didn’t put him on the floor in the second half even though Ariza sat.
Xavier Henry, SG 26 MIN | 6-14 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 2 AST | 13 PTS | -12Xavier was really quiet in the first half, but in the second he did some damage all over the place. He brought his normal aggression, and fitting with his name, he gave it to the Clippers. 12 points on 4 shots? I’ll take that with a side of BBQ sauce please. He was really active on the boards also, even if he didn’t get many of them.
Chris Johnson, C DNP COACH’S DECISION MIN | FG | FT | REB | AST | PTS | Chris scored his first points as a Hornet! As you know, that gets him an A+ in my book.

Five Things We Saw

  1. After the first half, the Hornets had taken 31 less three pointers than their opposition over the past 6 quarters. (42-11).
  2. Gary Chouest was in his courtside seats. I’d love to watch a game with that guy sometime to get some idea for what he’s like. Especially if he winds up as an owner. You there, Gary? C’mon!
  3. Attendance was announced at 17,201, which is officially a sell-out. Unfortunately, there were still plenty of empty seats in the nosebleeds.
  4. Jason Smith is my favorite player for sure after tonight’s performance. Is he yours?
  5. AWESOME GAME. I was saying during it that the outcome of this and the lottery are the two main factors that will determine if this season is a success in my mind.OHHHH OHHHHHHHHH! We’re halfway there!!!!!!!!