Hornets.com postgame: Hawks 95, Hornets 86
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Hawks (20-10), Hornets (7-24)
It was over when… New Orleans turned over the ball with less than a minute remaining, trailing by nine points. Atlanta picked off a pass, grabbed an offensive rebound at the other end, then dribbled out the final 20 seconds of the game. The Hornets were trying to improve to 2-0 since the return of Eric Gordon to the lineup, but were doubled up 28-14 in the third quarter after holding a 50-44 halftime lead.
Hornets MVP: The in-arena vote was split between Greivis Vasquez and Anthony Davis (9 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks), but let’s go with Vasquez, who again came within a whisker of a triple-double. The native of Venezuela and reigning Western Conference player of the week finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists, accounting for half of New Orleans’ 20 assists. It was the second straight home game that the point guard needed just one board to attain triple-double status.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: When Ryan Anderson returned to the reserve unit on Dec. 18 at Golden State, he initially struggled with his shooting touch, but it’s returned in a big way over the past week. Since Friday, he’s gone 11-for-22 from three-point range, including Tuesday’s 5-for-10 performance vs. Atlanta. Overall, he tallied 23 points and grabbed six rebounds. Honorable mention goes to Roger Mason, who produced a second straight stellar outing, with nine points on 3-for-3 three-point accuracy.
The buzz on… Gordon’s second game back on the floor. Prior to making his return Saturday at Charlotte, Gordon expressed some trepidation that it might take him a little time to regain some of his timing and ballhandling. After a sharp performance in his 2012-13 debut on the weekend, some of that concern appeared to perhaps come into play Tuesday, with him going 5-for-17 from the field and committing four turnovers against the Hawks. Furthermore, Monty Williams believed the rest of the rotation took a figurative step back, possibly deferring too much to Gordon. “I think everyone was waiting on Eric to be Superman,” Williams said. “That’s not what we’ve been about. We’ve been a team.” Gordon: “I feel fine. I just missed a lot of easy shots tonight. A lot of things just didn’t go my way. It’s just more of a timing issue. I’m still rehabbing and still conditioning. I’ll get it going. Once you’re in a rhythm when you’re scoring and playmaking, everything comes a bit easier. I just didn’t make enough shots tonight.”