Notebook: Hornets 100, Pistons 95

Posted Mar 1, 2013 11:47 PM

Bradley Handwerger, for

THE FACTS: The New Orleans Hornets followed up their second-worst regular season loss in franchise history by finding a way to hold on 100-95 against the Detroit Pistons.

New Orleans had lost two consecutive games, including a 45-point loss at Oklahoma City. And it was playing without forwards Anthony Davis (left shoulder sprain) and Jason Smith (torn labrum).

But the Hornets (21-39) still found a way to outrebound Detroit by seven, including 18-11 on the offensive glass. Ryan Anderson and Al-Farouq Aminu each had six offensive rebounds and they combined for 27 total boards. Anderson finished with 19 points starting in place of Davis.

The Pistons (23-38), behind center Greg Monroe's 27-point, 10-rebound performance in his home town, wouldn't go quietly. New Orleans led 91-84 when Detroit reeled off a 9-0 run that briefly gave it a 93-91 lead with 1:58 to go in the game.

After a Hornets' timeout, New Orleans' Greivis Vasquez, who scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, earned a trip to the free-throw line where he sank both attempts, tying the game at 93. New Orleans would never trail again.

Eric Gordon's free throw preceded a clutch banked 9-footer by Vasquez that gave New Orleans a 98-95 lead with just 12 seconds to play. Detroit's Stuckey couldn't convert an off-balanced 3-pointer and New Orleans finished with only its second win since the All-Star break.

Vasquez finished with a team-high 25 points and recorded nine assists. Gordon added 21 points and Robin Lopez scored 10 points and had five blocked shots.

The Hornets won in spite of allowed Detroit to shoot 50 percent to their 43.2 percent. Additionally, the Pistons outscored New Orleans 56-46 in the paint.

QUOTABLE: "In my head I've got all the games that we couldn't close and we lost. Finally I was really calm and I got a good bucket for us."
-- Vasquez, the Hornets' point guard.

THE STAT: 31 to 16 -- The difference in the game for the Hornets came at the free-throw line. New Orleans shot 31 free throws to Detroit's 16. The Hornets converted 23 of their attempts, including 5 of 6 in the final two minutes when they put the game away.

TURNING POINT: With New Orleans leading 96-96 and 52 seconds remaining on the clock, the game was far from over. And it looked dire when Anderson's long-range 3-pointer was off the mark. But Aminu found a way to grab the ball, tying up Detroit's Rodney Stuckey. On the ensuing jump ball, Aminu tipped it to Vasquez, who hit a nine-foot running bank shot that gave New Orleans ultimately the points it needed to win the game.

HOT: Detroit's Brandon Knight, coming off a career-high 32 points against Washington, remained hot against the Hornets. He went 10 of 18 for 22 points and finished with a plus-11 statistic, highest for any Piston.

NOT: New Orleans guard Eric Gordon kept the Hornets in the first half with 18 points. But he went cold in the second, going 1-for-7 in the second half as New Orleans let a late fourth-quarter lead slip away.

BAD MOVE: The Hornets had only one center available with Davis sidelined due to a left shoulder injury. But Detroit didn't take advantage, missing opportunities to post up with Monroe. Though the Pistons outscored the Hornets by 10 in the paint, most of those were drives, not chances for the 6-foot-11 Monroe to post up Hornets 6-8 forward Lance Thomas.

NOTABLE: The Hornets swept the season series with Detroit 2-0. ... Monroe's double-double was his 28th of the season. ... Anderson's 19 points and 13 rebounds gave him his eight double-double of the season. The 13 rebounds matched a season-high for the New Orleans forward.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Monday vs. Magic, Wednesday vs. Lakers, Saturday @ Memphis. For the Pistons, Sunday @ San Antonio, Wednesday vs. New York, Friday vs. Dallas.