Dallas 107 (3–2) | New Orleans 114 (2–3)
Great game. Any win at all would have been acceptable; however, the Hornets dialed it up a notch and found a way to win even in the face of adversity (aka Dallas, which is a way better team than Sacramento).
After flying out the gates and finishing the first with an 8 point lead, the Hornets started to sag while the Mavs, who started cold, began hitting open looks all over the court. The lead continued to change hands for the rest of the game until the end, when the Mavs were up 4 with 16 seconds to play to play. Things looked pretty bleak from section 325, and the Hornets seemed to be headed to yet another loss; a hard fought loss, yes, but a loss all the same.
One CP offensive foul and 4 missed Dallas free throws later, the Hornets find themselves down by 3 with 9 seconds to play and deem Peja "0 for the night and then some" Stojakovic the man to fire the tying shot... and he drains it. Un.be.lieve.able.
The Mavs went ice cold in OT, and really, that's all she wrote. The Hornets finished the contest with the advantage in every statistical category but blocks and three-point percentage. Perhaps the most important part was the Hornets owning the paint in the second half. They were able to penetrate and out duel the Mavs to the tune of 26 to 14 down low.
Bullets after the jump.
- As we've noted, , who became the third-fastest player to tally his 3000th assist on Monday night, is freaking amazing. As such, it was no surprise that he finished the evening to the tune of 39 points (on 61% shooting), 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and perfect from the stripe.
- Jason Terry was also on fire tonight. He single-handedly kept Dallas in the game and made me write a plethora of expletives (in all caps, mind you) in my little notepad. When an opponent drops 35 points (on 66% shooting) on us, I tend to get annoyed. Must be what everyone else in the league feels about CP.
- Front court was solid for the Bees tonight as well. Sure, they got jammed up a few times playing zone D (though it looked like we played a fair amount of man to man as well), but Emeka and DX combined for with 36 points (on 60% shooting) 23 boards, 8 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks, and 3 turnovers. Damn, that feels good.
- While we're singing their praises, I'll go ahead and thank both of our starting bigs for the superb job they did locking down Dirk. The Big German finished the night with only 12 points and went 4 of 15 from the field. The refs were letting the boys play under the hoops, which led to a few tiffs, and ultimately, I think Dirk's frustration won out. His shortcomings (and his 6th foul with two and a half minutes to play in regulation) was as crucial to the W as those missed FTs from Terry and Berea.
- Shawn Marion was also not much of a factor in this game. 8 points (on 33% shooting), 6 boards, 2 blocks, and 5 turnovers. I wasn't expecting "The Matrix Reloaded" or anything, but that's pretty mediocre/bad for a guy who logged 39 minutes.
- Bobby "My Prerogative" Brown continued to launch shots (some of which were ill-advised), but managed to sink more than half of them, finishing with 18 points. I still think we're doing a disservice to Collison by letting someone as irresponsible as Brown live ahead of him in the depth chart, but for tonight, Brown was worth his salt (even if I cringed for every shot he took).
- And one final thought: late in the game Emeka picked up a loose ball after a missed CP layup and slammed it home. After I was done clapping, though, I realized that we really don't dunk anymore. Ever since Tyson left, it just doesn't happen much. Of course, I'll take Mek's post moves any day over a guy who has to be under the hoop to score, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss the excitement.
Composed to: It's My Life by Talk Talk
The Opponents Take: Mav's Moneyball