Hornets.com postgame: Clippers 93, Hornets 77
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Clippers (19-6), Hornets (5-20)
It was over when… Jamal Crawford bagged a corner three-pointer with 6:10 remaining, giving Los Angeles an 89-65 lead and forcing a New Orleans timeout. The Clippers tied their all-time franchise record by extending their winning streak to 11 games, while handing the Hornets a ninth straight defeat. The Hornets pulled within five points of the lead in the third quarter, but the hosts pushed the margin back to 19 by the end of that period. New Orleans will wrap up its four-game road trip in San Antonio on Friday.
Hornets MVP: Robin Lopez accounted for nearly the entire scoring load in the first quarter, dropping in 14 of the team’s 16 points. The 7-footer finished with a team-high 22 points on 10-for-16 shooting. He also was relentless on the boards, grabbing nine total rebounds, including six at the offensive end. Lopez reached double digits in scoring for the 13th time this season. In 2011-12 with Phoenix, the center accomplished that feat just 11 times in 64 games.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: With Ryan Anderson experiencing a rare off night from the perimeter (2-for-13), Roger Mason contributed a four-point play among his bench-leading eight points. The team’s most experienced player was 3-for-6 from the field, but the balance of the reserve unit combined to go 6-for-26.
The buzz on… the eventual return of Eric Gordon. After being sidelined for the first 25 games of the regular season to date, the fifth-year shooting guard said Wednesday that he hopes to be back on the floor with the Hornets for a game before the end of December. The team’s projected leading scorer – who will turn 24 years old on Christmas – appeared in nine games during the 2011-12 season (the Hornets went 6-3; in other games they were 15-42). With New Orleans losing the majority of its close games for a second straight season, it’s apparent how much the club misses the scoring punch Gordon can provide, with a career scoring average of 18.2 points per game. On the other end of the floor, Monty Williams often says that Gordon does not get enough credit for his sturdy individual defense. The Hornets are ranked 30th in the NBA in defensive efficiency and have had difficulty stopping penetration by opposing guards.