Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 105, Pistons 86
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Hornets (18-34), Pistons (20-33)
It was over when… Ryan Anderson buried his fifth three-pointer of the game, giving New Orleans a 97-82 lead with 2:57 left, forcing Detroit to call a timeout. In one of their most complete 48-minute performances of 2012-13, the Hornets built a 55-41 halftime lead and controlled play virtually all Monday evening. The Pistons never seriously threatened after intermission. With victories over Atlanta and Detroit, the Hornets wrapped up their Mardi Gras road trip with a 2-1 record. They host Portland on Wednesday, in the club’s final game prior to the All-Star break.
Hornets MVP: Tough to snub Robin Lopez and his outstanding 23-point, 10-rebound game, but Anderson was the best player on the floor during much of the final three quarters. After scoring two points in the initial period, the sixth man piled up 29 points from there for a total of 31. Anderson displayed his underrated offensive versatility during a 13-for-21 outing from the field, featuring 5-for-9 three-point shooting, along with several crafty moves that resulted in layups (and one highlight-reel dunk). He also blocked two shots in one of his most impressive showings of 2012-13.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: With Eric Gordon resting in the second game of a back-to-back, it elevated Austin Rivers to the starting lineup, and also meant more minutes for Roger Mason, who continued his torrid shooting since late December. The Hornets’ eldest player was in a zone in the fourth quarter, quickly scoring 13 points, including three three-pointers. Mason finished with 14 points in just 22 minutes of action. Anderson and Mason put on a shooting clinic in the fourth quarter, accounting for 26 of NOLA’s 28 points.
The buzz on… the best stretch as a pro for Lopez. With twin brother Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets headed to the All-Star Game in Houston this weekend for the first time, Robin Lopez made it clear that – although he fully supports Brook and is elated to see him be rewarded – Robin will spend the break back home in California. The first-year Hornet has earned some rest and relaxation, after producing in ways very few media or fans could’ve imagined. Monday was Robin’s eighth consecutive double-digit scoring game, a streak that would’ve been unheard of during his previous four seasons with Phoenix. Lopez has already scored more points, grabbed more rebounds and blocked more shots prior to the 2013 All-Star hiatus than he did in any of his full campaigns with the Suns. Lopez was also the butt of some jokes by NBA statistical analysts for his incredibly low assist totals in Arizona, but he already has more of those this season than he did in the four years combined. It’s been stunning to see the improvement the 7-footer has made as a Hornet, in virtually every possible area. He’s also done a far better job staying out of foul trouble, an issue that plagued him at times prior to his arrival in Crescent City.