Notebook: Hornets 98, Bobcats 95



Posted Dec 29, 2012 10:53 PM

By Derek S. Smith, For NBA.com

THE FACTS: Eric Gordon scored 24 points off the bench in his season debut and the New Orleans Hornets overcame a 21-point deficit to pick up a 98-95 win over the Charlotte Bobcats Saturday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.

QUOTABLE: "Coach got us at halftime. I told the guys, 'they're going to let us back in it as long as we play defense and score.' That's what we did. It was all about making plays. We've needed that all season. It was good to get a win here for us and for me to get back out there. I just wanted to be back out there with the guys. "

-- New Orleans guard Eric Gordon

THE STAT: The 3-point shooting was a big key in the Hornets' (7-23) come-from-behind victory. New Orleans was 11-for-24 from the 3-point line and made seven more trifectas than the Bobcats (7-23) did. The Bobcats have allowed opponents to make at least 10 3s in five of their last seven games, and allow the most made 3-pointers in the league with teams averaging 9.7 per game. Charlotte is next to last in 3-point field goal defense in the league, allowing their opponents to shoot 39.2 percent from behind the arc.

TURNING POINT: Points off turnovers. The Bobcats made just three turnovers in the fourth quarter, but each proved costly as New Orleans scored nine points off those three mistakes. Back-to-back turnovers by rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist proved to be the turning point. He traveled with 1:43 left to play which turned into a 3 from Ryan Anderson. He then lost the ball on the next possession, which then led to a 3 from Roger Mason and a six-point Hornets lead with 47.4 left in the game.

QUOTABLE II: "You're never out of it when you play in the NBA. Every time you step out on the court you have a chance to win. Our veterans have been teaching these young guys all year long and tonight they showed them how to win."

-- New Orleans coach Monty Williams

HOT: The Bobcats first half offense. Charlotte shot a season-best 62.5 percent from the floor on 25-for-40 shooting and took a 17-point edge into the half. Kidd-Gilchrist had 18 points on 9-for-11 shooting and Kemba Walker was 6-for-8 from the floor with 12 points.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Gordon stepped up big in his season debut. He had missed the first 29 games rehabbing a sore knee, and scored a game-best 24 points off the bench tonight. He was 12-for-14 from the charity stripe and scored 16 of those points during the Hornets' second-half rally. In addition to his scoring, Gordon added seven assists and two steals to his tally.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Former Portland Trail Blazers coach, N.C. State star and current Charlotte resident Nate McMillan was in the stands at Time Warner Cable Arena. McMillan's son, Jamelle, is a coaching intern for the Hornets.

GOOD MOVE: Mason scored all 13 of his points in the second half. With the Hornets trailing 57-40 at the break, Williams started Mason, who did not play in the first half, in place of rookie Austin Rivers. Mason was 4-for-5 from behind the arc and added six rebounds and three assists in the second half including a clutch 3-point basket late in the fourth quarter.

ROOKIE WATCH: Charlotte's Kidd-Gilchrist finished with a team-best 22 points and nine rebounds, while fellow rookie Jeffery Taylor had six points. New Orleans' rookies both had a rough night. Anthony Davis finished with eight points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots while Rivers played just under 13 minutes and did not register a point, but did have three assists, two steals and a block.

NOTABLE: Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a scratched right cornea in the second quarter, but returned to play in the second half with a pair of goggles. He is expected to play in Charlotte's New Year's Eve game in Chicago. ... The Bobcats are currently on an 18-game skid. Charlotte has had three losing streaks of 16 games or longer this calendar year, including 23-game slide to end the 2011-12 season. ... Hakim Warrick has started each of the last three games and has scored in double figures in all three, averaging 14.3 points and 7.7 rebounds in just under 32 minutes, while shooting 51.6 percent from the field (16-for-31). ... Charlotte's Walker has scored in double figures in 27 of 30 games this season. Hornets forward Anderson has scored in double figures for the 26th time this season and is currently on pace to set the franchise record for made 3-point field goals in a season. Greivis Vasquez scored in double figures for the fifth straight game and added a season-high four steals. Anthony Davis recorded double-figure rebounds for the seventh time this season. Mason scored a season-high 13 points, scoring in double figures for the fifth time this season.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Tuesday vs. Atlanta, Wednesday @ Houston, Saturday @ Dallas. For the Bobcats, Monday @ Chicago, Friday vs. Cleveland, Sunday @ Detroit.