Notebook: Hornets 105, Clippers 98



Posted Nov 27, 2012 2:23 AM

By Dan Arritt, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Hornets spoiled a record-breaking shooting night for Caron Butler and the Clippers, giving L.A. a taste of its own 3-point medicine in the 105-98 victory Monday night at Staples Center. The win ended a seven-game losing streak for New Orleans and extended L.A.'s string of losses to four straight.

THE STAT: The 33 combined 3-pointers by the Hornets and Clippers is the second-most in NBA history and the most for a regulation game. The Clippers made a franchise-record 18 baskets from beyond the arc on 37 attempts (48.6 percent). Butler, in his 11th season, established a career best and franchise mark by making nine 3s on 15 tries. Unfortunately for the Clippers, the Hornets were even more efficient from 3-point distance, going 15-for-25 (60 percent). Greivis Vasquez (5-for-8), Ryan Anderson (5-for-9) and Austin Rivers (3-for-4) were the main sharpshooters for New Orleans.

QUOTABLE: "When Ryan gets going like that, it opens it up for everybody. It was good to see Austin knock down a couple, Greivis hit some, and Caron Butler was amazing."

--New Orleans coach Monty Williams

TURNING POINT: After trailing for much of the game, the Clippers soared back behind the hot shooting of Butler, who sank his eighth 3-pointer to tie the score, 68-68, with 4:01 remaining in the third quarter. His bucket also tied the previous franchise record for 3s in a game (16). The Clippers seemed to relax just enough for the Hornets to close out the quarter on a 13-2 run and then score the first basket of the fourth to move ahead, 83-70. The Clippers managed to trim the deficit to six and had the ball with just over a minute remaining, but missed four 3s on one possession and another on the next. New Orleans was able to slam the door with four free throws in the final 15 seconds.

HOT: Butler finished with 33 points, his highest-scoring game since netting 39 as a member of Washington on the final day of the 2008-09 regular season. He was especially hot in the third quarter, scoring 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range. His previous career high for 3s in a game was five. Butler's shooting nearly overshadowed another outstanding game by Vasquez, who matched his career high set Friday night by scoring 25 points and also handing out 10 assists. On the downside, he committed a career-high eight turnovers.

NOT: As hot as both teams shot, Clippers forward Blake Griffin had the coldest-shooting game of his three-year career. Griffin shot 1-for-9 from the field and scored four points before fouling out with 2:35 remaining and the Clippers trailing by 11. He established career lows for points, field goals made and shooting percentage.

QUOTABLE II: "I'm comfortable with our offense, I just missed shots tonight. It's on me. ... It's nobody's fault but mine."

-- Blake Griffin

GOOD MOVE: New Orleans backup forward Jason Smith has shown he won't back down from anyone, not even Griffin. The fifth-year player drew a two-game suspension last season for body-checking Griffin as he went up for a layup in New Orleans. He wasn't as brazen Monday night, but was equally tough. Williams sensed Smith's ability to throw Griffin off track, leaving him on the floor for a season-high 29 minutes. Smith came through on both ends, scoring 17 points and drawing most of the fouls that led to Griffin's early departure.

BAD MOVE: Smith got after Clippers' backup forward Matt Barnes, as well, causing Barnes to throw out an elbow in the third quarter that was eventually ruled a Flagrant 1 foul. While Smith was converting the two free throws, Barnes was called for a technical foul while arguing with referee Marc Davis. Smith made that foul shot as well, then scored a layup on the added possession for a five-point trip down the floor, extending the lead to 81-70. The Clippers were also slow to get back on defense several times, even on made field goals. During one first-half possession, L.A. reserve guard Eric Bledsoe hung on the rim after dunking an offensive rebound. While he was still elevated, the Hornets took off on a fast break and Al-Farouq Aminu scored on a slam of his own.

NOTABLE: Griffin went scoreless in the first half, only the second time in his career he went with a point during a half. The other time was in the second half of a victory against the Wizards on March 12, 2011. ... Jamal Crawford went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line, establishing a new career high with 38 consecutive free throws. ... The NBA record for combined 3-pointers in a game is 36 during an overtime game between Golden State and Orlando on March 11, 2011. Anderson played for Orlando in that game and made 1 of his 4 shots from long range. ... It marked just the fourth time in NBA history that both teams combined to make 15 or more 3s in the same game.

UP NEXT: For the Clippers, Wednesday vs. Minnesota, Saturday vs. Sacramento, Monday @ Utah. For the Hornets, Wednesday vs Utah, Saturday vs. Oklahoma City, Monday vs. Milwaukee.