Los Angeles 94 (17–20) | New Orleans 108 (20–17)
That felt good.
The Hornets looked good tonight: they shot a high percentage from the field, controlled the paint, and took care of the rock (only 6 TOs all night). The Clippers (who had a much better record than I was expecting) showed flashes of brilliance (mainly hop steps by Baron Davis and Al Thornton) surrounded by sloppy ball-handling and poor shot selection.
The Bees shot over 50% as a team even with an off night from DX and a regular night from Devin Brown.* It's a good thing the Hornets were knocking down shots (57% eFG compared to LA's 41%) because the Clips were owning the glass on both sides of the court (they killed us in OREB% 37 to 24). Camby alone pulled down 20, which was more than twice what any Hornet managed.
* I know, I know; Devin hasn't been terrible this year. But I have strategy about keeping him honest: doubt every move he makes. So far, if he hoists a three and I groan, the shot goes in. If I applaud him, he makes one of his more "signature moves." So, for the foreseeable future, I will not explicitly give Devin praise. Trust me. This will work.
Let's go back to shooting for a moment. The Hornets dropped 9 treys on 27 shots tonight. You'd like to see that % a tad higher, but overall, that's not terrible. You know what is terrible? How about 7%? That was the Clips' final line from downtown, as they only managed to nail 1 trey in 14 shots. Actually, that number is a tad unrepresentative of the overall team, as Eric "Nice moves in the lane, but for the love of God, stop shooting threes" Gordon went 0 for 7 all by his lonesome. The internet machine told me that he normally makes about 38% of his treys, so it isn't criminal that he was trying to make up the deficit from deep, but you'd think after 4 or 5 misses he'd give up and start slashing into the lane.
Bullets after the jump.
- Bad night for FTs: the Hornets hit 75% and the Clips hit 72%. Come on, guys. They're FREE throws. We can do better.
- Good night for whistles. Refs were calling stuff all over the place. It didn't feel lopsided to either side, it just slowed the game up quite a bit. It's be nice if they'd ease off the ticky-tacky stuff and just let the guys play.
- Fantastic showing for Peja. 20 points on 14 shots (including 4 of 6 from deep... one of which was about halfway from the arc to center court), 4 boards, and 1 assist in 32 minutes.
- To continue with the hot hand, we have Mekatron who, despite only grabbing 8 boards, finished with 21 points on 8 shots (and 9 FTs). He also stole the ball twice (though one of them sort of fell into his lap).
- Good night for CP (and the sky was blue today!). 15 points on 11 shots, 15 dimes, 4 steals, and 0 TO in 38 minutes. Hey, look at that! Chris didn't have to play 40 minutes! Oh, and someone should definitely do an interview with CP and ask him much bowling helps out his passing skills (or maybe it's the other way around). He pulled off a few crazy passes in traffic that looked like they were wrapping around defenders. Crazy stuff.
- Solid efforts from Thornton, Posey, and Songalia. 11 points, 5 boards, and 2 assists, while Posey added 8/5/1, and Songalia 6/2/0 (respectively). The lot of 'em went 10 for 22 on the night. Not bad for your 6, 7, and 8 guys (at least by Hornet standards).
- I never thought I'd say this, but I think the Clips are trending upwards. Consider this lineup: Davis/Gordon/Butler/Griffin/Camby with Kaman/Jordan/R. Davis/Telfair coming off your bench. No, they're not going to terrify anyone (not as long as Dunleavy holds the reigns), but it's not a bad group.
- DeAndre Jordan had 7 points and 7 boards for the Clips. But I don't care about that. Instead, I think it's worth noting that he took 3 of the worst FT shots I have ever witnessed (other than myself in my driveway). He did manage to inexplicably sink one shot from the line, but I was too busy reliving the previous atrocities to even notice.
- Brian "1.1 PPG" Skinner (or Brian "Why do you still dip your beard tips in peroxide?" Skinner) went off on us. 14 points on 9 shots. He was surprisingly inactive on the boards, but since Camby was cleaning the glass all night, I guess the Clips figured he didn't need much help.
- Baron looked impressive (as usual). 19 points, 6 dimes, 2 steals, and a block. He did have 3 TOs (which were a bit sloppy), but overall a good showing.
- I love Baron Davis. Why? Because he's responsible for the CP era. Think about it: he quit on us, which caused the debacle, and then (probably) convinced Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Utah to pick people not named Chris Paul in the '03 draft. What's not to love.
- On a non-basketball note, it was recently announced that Real World is returning to the Crescent City for another season. And guess what? Baron Davis' uptown home will play host to the event. A house that is apparently a block and a half away from my apartment...strange.
Have a great night, folks!
Composed to: Primal Scream's Screamadelica
The Opponent's Take: Clips Nation