Golden State 89 (25-45) | New Orleans 99 (44–25)
Great game, no question. The Hornets were able to pull out in front pretty quickly (up 7 by the end of the first), and then held a 20 point lead until latter half of the fourth. It would have been nice to see them hold that margin until the end, but Golden State started hitting shots that they were bricking for most of the game, so it's hard to complain.
The Hornets did what they could to control the pace, but eventual settled into Nellie-ball using 10+ possession more than usual (game pace was 97 compared to our usual 85 or so). But you know what? It worked. It helped that the Warriors looked a little out of sync, often running into one another, but I was generally impressed with the offense all night.
Probably the biggest story of the night was the success of the bench in the second quarter. Not only did they outscore the Warriors 11-6 in the first 6 minutes, they gave CP an unprecedented 9 (Nine!) minutes of rest. It was a beautiful sight to behold.
Detractors might note that our bench was playing an even weaker bench since the Warriors were missing 2 starters in Biedrins and Crawford. But to that I say that A) we were still out 2 starters and B) their bench features Corey Maggette, who's way better than anyone we have coming off the pine (no matter how healthy we are). Regardless, even if this performance is just a confidence booster for the second unit—and it should be—that would be a victory.
In the end, the Warriors shot such a poor enough from the field (39.5%, 21.1%, 77.8%) that no number of possessions could have saved them from the onslaught of Chris Paul, David West, and Hilton Armstrong (yes, you read that last name correctly).
Bullets after the jump.
- Hilton "double-double by halftime" Armstrong was the player of the game in my book: 14 points on 5 for 6 from the field and 4 for 4 from the stripe, 11 rebounds, 1 block, and 0 turnovers in 16 minutes. Great showing for him.
- CP was his normal (read: awesome) self and added 27 points on 9 for 20 from the field and 7 for 7 from the stripe, 2 treys, 8 rebounds, 8 assists, and 2 steals. Ok, he probably deserves the player of the game, but I don't want to spoil Hilt's effort.
- JuJu's shot wasn't falling last night, but he still found ways to contribute by pulling down 5 boards, and swatting 4 shots. I think it's worth noting that Peja's (re)injury might turn out to be pretty well-timed as it's giving JuJu plenty of opportunities to grow (both in skill, experience, and confidence) on the court. And we're going to need him come playoff time.
- Golden State's bench (Maggette, Randolph, Watson, and Morrow) went 6 for 23 from the field. They also went 11 of 11 from the stripe, but 9 of those were Maggette's. Oof.
- Stephen Jackson dropped a 22-10-5 line on us, but he also found it hard to hit shots consistently, going 7 for 17 from the field and 1 for 5 from deep.
- The Hornet's +/- lines tonight were pretty interesting. CP, DX, and Mo were in the negatives, while everyone else was in the positives, including Ryan Bowen's team-leading +16.
- Speaking of the the Hustle Man, Bowen gave quite an effort going for 6 points, 1 rebound, and 1 steal in 6 minutes (his only missed shot was a prayer at the end of the shot clock that almost dropped). The fans thanked him with a standing ovation when DX subbed in for him. Unfortunately, we were informed in the third quarter that he suffered a separated shoulder during the game.
- Nellie didn't stand up the entire game. His assistant was the one running around and barking orders. Don't know if it was laziness or health related, but neither seems ideal.
Photos courtesy of yahoo.com
Composed to: Tift Merritt's Another Country
The opponent's take: Golden State of Mind