Los Angeles Clippers 80 (8-28) | New Orleans 107 (22-11)
Hooray! We got to rest in our own beds and then demolish a shorthanded team that isn't too great even when everyone's healthy. Hooray!
Truthfully, though, this game wasn't fair. The normally lackluster Clips were hindered even further with injuries to Baron Davis, Ricky Davis, Chris Kaman, and Zach Randolph (for those of you who don't know, that list is pretty much their entire starting squad sans Eric Gordon). So yeah, it wasn't fair.
But, the basketball gods don't care about "fair" and the Hornets walked away with an easy victory despite only playing their starters about 30 minutes a piece. Chris and David had quiet (but solid) nights, while Peja showed signs of returning to his normal level of production.
The real story (if there even was one) was the the stellar play of Posey, Chandler, and Butler. In 26 minutes, Posey dropped 16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Chandler, despite being grossly out-rebounded by Marcus Camby, went 13 and 11.
But it was Butler who had the hot hand and could not be stopped from downtown. Sure, I know, scoring is not the best way to extrapolate a player's contribution, but having been there I can tell you that his 27 points (6 of 10 from deep) was a huge boost to our momentum (though he did fail to contribute in any other statistical category). After a holy-crap-did-he-forget-how-to-play-basketball? performance on the recent road trip--in which he managed to shoot 7 for 21 from the field--it was nice to see him get his stroke back. Would have been more helpful if said stroke had arrived in Denver with his luggage, but I'll take it all the same.
On the Clipper side of things, the only real points worth mentioning are that Camby pulled down 17 boards and Gordon made a few insane moves in the post that resulted in even more insaner lay-ins. He's got a way to go, but he looked sharp overall.
Well, folks... I'm afraid there ain't much more to tell. We were all hoping for a solid 20 point victory (especially given the Clips' injury situation) with limited minutes from our starters... and we got just that.
Tune in Monday when we host the Knicks and Eddy Curry on the pine. See you then.
Couple of observations before I leave you:
- Just want to start by saying that I'm impressed with our boys after the hellish road trip they just endured. Sure that last loss was painful, but I was still riding too high after the Lakers game to give it a second thought. Fatigue obviously killed us. Regardless, we were one stupid turnover and possible trey away from a W in Denver which would have put the mark at 3-1 instead of 2-2. It was a tough stretch and we played well. I'm feeling better about this team every day.
- Speaking of feeling better about this team, Antonio Daniels looked sharp tonight. He had 10 points (on 5 for 6 shooting) and 5 assists in almost 20 minutes of play. In case anyone cares, that's technically a 20-10 night if he played starters' minutes. I mean, it was against the Clippers, but it was still solid.
- The Hornets really took care of the ball tonight, only coughing up 8 turnovers (a good portion of which were traveling calls... not that that's a good thing, but I'd prefer that to poor ball handling and errant passes).
- During the game, my buddy and I got bored and ended up spending most of the second quarter discussing a really dumb hypothetical: if you were a displaced Hornets fan, in which cities would you actually buy season tickets vs. just buying tickets when the Hornets come to town? We started this train of stupidity when we realized how horrible Clipper fans (and players probably) feel about their franchise. We decided that we couldn't sit through 41 games of basketball this awful. Just couldn't do it.
- I think Mike Dunleavy hates his job.
- One of the "in-game entertainment sessions" went awry when a trampoline dunker somehow managed to get so much air that his foot went into the basket with the ball. He hung there for a few minutes working his foot out of the net while we all stared and wondered if his knee or ankle would break first. He's fine now. Just thought everyone should know.
- Get this, according to espn, the Hornets are 19-1 when leading after three quarters. Not bad. Anybody know the lead we blew off the top of their head?
- With their loss to the Cavs tonight Boston now has 9 losses. We have 11.
Composed to: Gang of Four's Entertainment!
Photo courtesy of espn.com