Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 87, Celtics 86
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Hornets (23-46), Celtics (36-31)
It was over when… Boston could not get off a shot before the final buzzer after inbounding with just 0.3 seconds remaining, sealing a thrilling New Orleans victory. Anthony Davis scored the first game-winning basket of his NBA career, tipping in a miss to make it 87-86. Officials reviewed the tip-in on replay, but confirmed their initial ruling. The ball was extremely close to being over the cylinder, but appeared to be a millimeter off the rim. As a result, New Orleans ended its four-game losing streak, while capping a two-game sweep of Boston this season. Despite being sick all day, Davis opted to play and wound up authoring a memorable putback. "I was really tired, but I knew my team needed me, so I was trying to fight through it," Davis said. "I'm glad I did."
Hornets MVP: As has been the case all season, Ryan Anderson was the most pivotal offensive player for New Orleans, finishing with a team-best 21 points, including two critical free throws in the final minute. Anderson repeated his recent trend of doing most of his scoring damage in the second half, posting 14 of his points after intermission. An underrated player on offense aside from his well-known perimeter shooting, Anderson was aggressive taking the ball to the basket, resulting in 11 free-throw attempts. He also drew a foul while shooting a three-pointer with the Hornets down by three. Although Anderson missed the first attempt, he made the latter two, setting up the final sequence.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Brian Roberts bounced back from a rough one vs. Golden State two days earlier, this time producing a crucial 12 points and three assists. Roberts tallied five of his points in the fourth quarter. In a game in which the Hornets were careless at times and somehow prevailed despite committing 20 turnovers, Roberts did not commit a turnover in his 18 minutes.
The buzz on… a significant workload, nearly teamwide. After Monday’s loss to Golden State, veteran shooting guard Roger Mason – who’s somewhat of an unofficial spokesman for the Hornets, given his experience and always-thoughtful perspective – was asked why the team has experienced a drop-off since the All-Star break. Mason was unsure, but suggested that part of the explanation could be that New Orleans’ young players may be physically or mentally fatigued, having never played this much in a college season. The numbers give the theory some credence. Every member of the Hornets’ starting five has already surpassed his career high for minutes in a single season – even with four weeks remaining in the season. For instance, Robin Lopez has logged 1,756 minutes in 2012-13. His previous high in Phoenix was just 991. Greivis Vasquez is up to 2,351, after playing 1,706 last season. Even the team’s sixth man, Anderson, has been on the floor more this season than in any previous year.