Houston 95 (44–25) | New Orleans 84 (41–25)
Man, we suck.
Here's the scenario: the Hornets just got manhandled on what should have been an easy road trip to the East, finishing the trip with their second double digit loss to Chicago this season. We then come home to face a Yao-less, McGrady-less Rocket squad in a pivitol division showdown.
We could have shown up with a fire inside; you know, the kind that says we're angry and we're out to make someone pay. But instead, we were generally lazy on defense and making uncharacteristically poor shot selections in the second half.
It was a wasted opportunity to close the gap in the Southwest. If we don't pull ourselves together and thwomp the T-Wolves and Grizzlies this week... well, I guess I'll still be attending games to cheer on the guys... but dammit, I won't be happy about it.
Bullets after the jump.
- The Hornets went 0 for 11 from deep against Chicago. It was the first time since 2006 that they failed to drain a trey. In the spirit of underachieving tonight, the Bees went 3 for 11 to go a combined 3 for 22 in the last 96 minutes of game time. Kind of makes that Peja injury sting a little more.
- Ron Artest was all but invisible in the first half. He had something like 0 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists at the end of the second. I remember thinking how great a job JuJu and Posey were doing in terms of limiting his contributions. He then proceeded to go bonkers (in a good way) for the last 24 minutes, finishing with 18 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. Sure, he finished with a 7 for 23 performance (complete with a 0 for 9 from downtown), but he killed us for a solid stretch in the third, and we never saw the lead again.
- Chris put up another stellar stat line that will be forgotten due to the outcome of the game: 29 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds, 6 steals, 11 for 11 from the stripe,and only 2 turnovers in 44 minutes.
- JuJu got blocked thrice by Mutumbo. And every single time it was on a runner in the lane (or up the baseline). At first, I admired JuJu's gumption for returning to the paint despite the setbacks, but after a while I just got frustrated since he started passing up open shots from beyond the arc. First he's afraid of his shadow and won't shoot or dribble, now he can't wait to do his best Antonio Daniels.
- JuJu had our best +/- at 0.
- This loss put us at a 1 to 2 deficit against Houston. We'll need to win the final matchup (in Houston) and finish up strong against the rest of the division if we even want a prayer at jumping them in the seeding.
Photos courtesy of yahoo.com
Composed to: Richard & Linda Thompson's Shoot Out the Lights
The opponent's take: The Dream Shake