It’s Friday night so that can only mean one thing…Welcome to the Hornets recap lounge! It’s been quite busy in here with all of today’s events. We have the Stevie Ray Vaughn on stage for your entertainment. The lights were dimmed and the mood was sullen earlier today, but recently everything’s become a little brighter. As I’m sure you know, David West is done for the season. But that doesn’t means the fight for the playoffs stops for the Hornets.
Without David West, the Hornets played a resilient game to beat the Phoenix Suns 106-100. With the win the team has a two game lead over Memphis (who lost tonight) for the 7th seed and is only half a game back of Portland. While the Suns look like they will be watching the playoffs from home.
So come on in, grab a seat and thanks for joining us here at Swarm and Sting and the Hornets recap lounge. If you’re of age, we do have a full service bar in the back. Let’s do this…
With the David West injury and the playoff race, this was a must win game for the Hornets. A loss here could easily have sent the team spiraling down and out of the playoffs. While the Suns lead was never very large, it felt like the Hornets weren’t going to be able to pull out the win. They had multiple chances to tie the game or take a lead but never converted. There was no need for a miracle shot tonight since the Hornets stepped up and took control of the fourth quarter.
The Hans Gruber Villain of the Game Award
I’m giving this to Marcin Gortat because he looks like he wants to kidnap and kill James Bond. Before Steve Nash broke Gotat’s nose with four minutes left in the third quarter, the Suns center had 18 points and 10 rebounds off the bench and was +11. Without his injury I don’t know if the Hornets pull out this win. Think he has a hairless cat?
-What an emotional game for the Hornets. When the final buzzer sounded, Monty Williams was forcibly chest bumping players with a Kobe-like scowl on his face. Chris Paul gave a quick interview and said this “was the longest day ever…we just lost my brother.” There isn’t a player who means more to this team than Mr. West.
-Paul broke out the daggers tonight in the fourth with 8 points and 4 assists in the quarter. Near the end he was literally running circles around the Suns. On the night he finished with 22 points on 10 of 16 shooting and 7 assists.
-Jarret Jack and Willie Green made our bench look good scoring a combined 32 points between them including some huge baskets in the fourth quarter.
-Carl Landry started off slowly. He was trying to do too much and forced too many shots. He settled in though. He finished with 19 points and a team high +8. At one point Monty switched him onto Nash and he did a great job shutting down the Suns point guard. He also had 4 offensive rebounds.
-Trevor Ariza wasn’t a black hole on offense scoring 16 points and shot 2 of 5 from behind the arc.
-The Suns shot 11 for 19 from deep. When the opposing team makes over 10 three-pointers against the Hornets they usually lose. Credit goes to the Hornets interior offense for out scoring Phoenix 42-18 in the paint. That definitely makes up for all the 3′s.
-Robin Lopez was a joke. 4 minutes, 4 fouls, 1 technical foul, 0 points.
-Emeka Okafor didn’t have the greatest night offensively but he did pull down 12 rebounds. He was active defending the paint and altering shots as well.
-Aaron Gray didn’t have a repeat of his performance from last night, but like Okafor he did a great job defending the paint.
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That’s all for tonight at the Hornets recap lounge. Thanks for joining us and come back and join us Sunday when your Hornets take on the Los Angeles Lakers. Will the team be able to ride their emotions and grab a huge victory in my hometown? We’ll find out Sunday.
Tonight I’m going to leave you with this to wind down your Friday night/start your Saturday morning.