Saturday, February 7, 2009

That's more like it

Posted By on Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 4:20 AM

-

click to enlarge Butler, for the love of elevation

-

Photo by Jonathan Bachman

-

The Hornets snapped their season-long four-game losing streak tonight with a win 101–92 win over the Toronto Raptors. If that last sentence reads a bit strange, well, it should. The Hornets hadn't had a four-game losing streak since March of 2007, almost two years. You could say that New Orleans players were relieved to finally get a win.

-

"We started to feel the pressure a little bit," Ryan Bowen, who made his first start this season, said. "To get this win wihtout [Chris Paul] and Tyson [Chandler] and Mo [Peterson], especially the way the last two games went."

-

The Hornets won in part because tied a franchise-record in three-pointers made (15), most of which game on a 17–0 run in the fourth quarter that gave New Orleans the lead for good. Peja Stojakovic continued to carry much of the Hornets offensive load, scoring 28 points on 9-of-18 shooting and David West, Rasual Butler and Devin Brown all contributed 17 points a piece.

-

"We got good looks and were able to knock it down," Stojakovic said. "We've got to have better ball movement and that's what we did, particularly in the fourth quarter."

-

The win was not perfect, however. The Hornets had nine second-quarter turnovers that led to 16 Raptor points and which negated a 14-point New Orleans lead. There were also careless plays, from Rasual Butler's lazy inbound pass that was intercepted and converted into a Toronto bucket to Julian Wright committing three turnovers in just under four minutes of play, the Hornets showed they're still not completely focused. With back-to-back games against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies coming on Sunday and Monday, the Hornets have little time to soak in their good fortune.

-

"We are going to come in tomorrow and get some work done," coach Byron Scott said. "This [win] gives us relief for 36 to 48 hours, then you're right back on the court."

-

But, as stated earlier, there aren't words to describe the relief in the Hornets' locker room. Butler said he couldn't "remember the last time we had a four-game losing streak" and Scott noted that his players weren't as chatty or as happy-go-lucky in their last couple of practices. Ofcourse, nobody likes losing. Especially not a group of players that were one win away from the Western Conference Finals last year and were now facing the possiblity of a tailspin that could have knocked them out of the playoffs entirely. But, as Antonio Daniels put it, this win was about pride.

-

"It was [a win] that we needed to get like we did," he said. "We got it by scrapping and fighting and playing the way we need to play to be successful."

-

Surely this was not the two-week stretch Hornets players and fans had envinsioned before Chris Paul went down with his injury. But with just three games left until All-Star break, this team still has time to salvage a couple of wins before Paul returns to the lineup.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in The Latest

More by Alejandro de los Rios

Submit an event Jump to date

© 2016 Gambit
Powered by Foundation