Oklahoma City 103 (28–21) | New Orleans 99 (26–23)
Deja vu, right? Hornets struggle to keep up all game, come back to take the lead late in the game, and then watch the game unravel as the game clock winds to a close. By the by, that's 3 straight home losses, which takes our record at the Hive from an awesome/intimidating 16–4 to good 16–7.
So what happened? The Hornets played catch-up most of the night, but hung in there due to an advantage in turnovers. In the end, though, it's tough to seal a W when you give up 50+ percent from the floor. Seriously, this is the same game we saw Monday, except instead of shooting 52% from the floor, the opponent dropped shots closer to 58.
To top it off, Marcus Thornton left the game in the fourth limping... oof, no good.
Let's not dwell too much here. We got great contributions from Marcus, Mekatron, and Posey, but OKC got monster performances from Westbrook and Durant. The Bees just couldn't seal the deal... again.
Allow me to elaborate (after the jump).
- I don't want to start pointing fingers but Bower's got some splainin' to do. For instance, when you have a close game and are losing the defensive rebounding game pretty badly, how do you justify sitting DX for the entire fourth quarter in favor of... gulp... Darius Songaila. Even on a good night Songaila is nowhere near as good as David (I can't believe I felt the need to type that), but tonight Darius was awful. 2 for 9 from the field? Come on, Bower. DX is deadly from like 10 times as many places on the court as Darius. He can drive, he can rebound, and he doesn't get abused down low.
- In other news, Emeka was in the game for most of the 4th. Ah, I see what happened here. After pleading for weeks to keep Mek in the game down the stretch, Bower (who obviously reads this blog) obliged. Of course, as we've mentioned, he sat DX instead. So, that was my fault for not being clear. You should keep your best rebounder and best scorer in the game for as much of the 4th quarter as is needed to seal the victory. My bad.
- Stellar game from Marcus. The numbers will never do his aggression and grit justice. But here they are anyway: 22 points, 3 boards, 6 assists, 2 blocks, 1 steal, and zero turnovers in 33 minutes. Plus, he had this killer block/steal off Eric Maynor that he then turned into an assist on an Okafor dunk during the fastbreak. I seriously hope he's ready to go for Friday.
- Posey and Oak combined for 22 points, 22 boards, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.
- Peja had 4 steals. And I don't think any of them were the sort of "fall in your lap" gigs. He got abused some down low, but he made up for it by being pesky on D. And it paid off... I guess.
- OKC, again, got great games out of their 2 sophomores. Westbrook finished with 26 points, 10 assists, and 8 boards, while Durant added 30 points, 3 assists, and 2 boards. He also had 8 turnovers, which is (obviously) high. I was shocked to discover that his season average is almost 3 and 3 quarters, though.
- Our opponent's also got quietly solid performances from Green, Krstic, Ibaka, and Collison (Nick). Got to say, this team is built for success. A couple of stars, a handful of efficient players surrounding them, and everyone is young (read: inexpensive). Keep your eyes on these guys come playoff time.
- There was a fantastic sign across the way from our seats tonight. A guy in a Sonics jersey was waving around a poster-board with a Sonic's logo and type that read: "Lost. If found, please return." Easy to forget what that fan base just went through. From a small/susceptible market fanbase like us, let me just say... respect. Respect.
- Our in-game entertainment has always been lacking (if not unintentionally hilarious). But lately, we've been subjected to an unholy terror that I cannot even describe. Instead, I'll pass the ball to Ticktock6 down at Hornets Hype.
- CP goes under the knife tomorrow. If anyone can spare any juju or grisgris from their efforts to help the Saints, it'd be appreciated. Every little bit helps.
- Speaking of the Saints, Curry's got your recap on Friday, so I won't see you kids until after the Super Bowl. As such, here's your requisite WHO DAT!!!
Composed to: Elvis Costello's Get Happy!
Opponent's Take: Welcome to Loud City