Game 80: Hive Live

Dallas 92 (48-32) | New Orleans 102 (49–31)

Hell of a matchup today and both teams left it all out on the court. The Hornets were playing to recoup a little bit of pride after Friday's loss, while the Mavs were hoping to get their momentum going and tie us for 3rd in the division. The Mavs played a total of 8 guys, while the Hornets gave almost every minute to 6 (we technically played 10, but 4 of them had 7 minutes or less). Excitement ensued.

(Happy Easter, by the by.)

I actually missed the first quarter because I was having Easter brunch with my family at Brennan's in the Quarter. I actually thought the insane amount of rich, delicious food we ate (not to mention the bloody marys) would have made it hard to stay awake for the game, but both teams kept it too close for me to even blink. 

Actually, the Bees had a sizeable lead after one, but then promplty blew it, letting the Mavs get within 1 by the half. They then started the third quarter ice cold, taking almost 5 minutes to score their first bucket (meanwhile the Mavs had scored 8). The Hornets closed the gap, but then started the fourth tied at 69. The lead jumped back and forth for a bit until a few solid defensive stops and a couple of clutch treys put the game out of reach for Dallas.

In terms of playoff implications, this win allows us all to breath a little easier knowing it would take a major meltdown for us to end up as the 8th seed (AKA Laker bait). And a tie is absolutely possible seeing as the Mavs finish the season against Minny and Houston (we get Houston too, but then we have to play the Spurs).

Bullets after the jump.

THE GOOD

  • Chris. Paul. Holy. Freaking. God. He finished with a line for the ages: 31 points, 17 assists, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 turnover in 45 minutes. Oh, and his true shooting percentage was 86. Damn, son.
  • DX was also on fire tonight. With the exception of rough patch in the third, David was sinking shots from anywhere and everywhere. some of them were the typical 17 footers, some were power moves to the basket and some were near-circus fadeawys. Unstoppable. He too finished with 31 points, and then also added 6 boards, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, and a monster block on Josh Howard. He was also more aggressive on man defense than I've ever seen. Unfortunately, that leads to my next bullet.
  • Dirk. Dude was on fire tonight. He bricked a few late in the game that could have kept the Mavs in it, but that shouldn't spoil his performance. DX was all over him today and for most of the game it just didn't matter. He also cleaned the glass with a game high 14 boards.
  • Ball handling. Both teams took care of the rock tonight with the Mavs committing six turnovers and the Hornets giving away 9. (Although, that one turnover on inbounds pass in the second was pretty painful.)
  • Tyson's suit. The dude always looks sharp, but he looked especially nice today. Hopefully, we'll see him a uniform soon (rumor is Monday... anyone?)
  • The officiating. Joey Crawford and company did an admirable job today, especially considering the level of intensity both sides were bringing. It got a little hairy at times, but it was a clean fight thanks to the officials.

THE BAD

  • The Dirk flop. Check your TiVo: 2:50 to play in the third. What the hell was that anyway? Sure Posey fouled him, but Dirk threw down such an egregious flop that it caused Posey to stand over him and insult him (which eventually got him T-ed up). I suppose that makes the flop somewhat successful, but it's still infuriating to see all the same. (Though it did prompt a fan to hold up a sign reading "And the Oscar goes to...")
  • Dallas' 3 point guard approach in the fourth. I guess they were trying to spread the floor or something, but why would you kick the ball around the perimeter when we have a thin (and not very good) front court?

THE UGLY

  • The Hornets Offensive Rebounding. They had 14. We had 2. Tyson, please hurry back.
  • Kidd from deep (or anywhere else). Kidd went 3 for 13 from the field (including 2 for 7 from deep). The Hornets left him open quite a bit, but he's a career 40% shooter so the gamble paid off.
  • Peja from deep. Treja also went 2 for 7 from downtown (including an airball). He did hit a clutch trey to (sort of) ice the contest in the fourth, but you kind of want that shot to start falling a little more often. He is contributing all over the court (his rebounds and assists have gone up lately), but when he's nailing treys, we are some kind of dangerous.

My recaps for the regular season are officially over and done with (though I'll be here for post season home recaps). Just wanted to give a quick thank you to all of our readers for sticking out the season with us.

So, wherever you are, raise a glass...here's to avoiding the 8 seed. GEAUX BEES!

***

Composed to: The La's eponymous debut

The opponent's take: Mav's Moneyball

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