Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 95, Spurs 88
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Hornets (9-25), Spurs (27-10)
It was over when… San Antonio subbed in two deep reserves, Nando De Colo and Patty Mills, with 1:48 remaining, trailing 92-81. The figurative white flag was raised after New Orleans took control late during arguably its best win of the 2012-13 season. The Hornets improved to 3-1 in games played by Eric Gordon, who erupted in the fourth quarter to help the home team post a second straight Southwest Division win. New Orleans’ previous victories with Gordon in uniform were against Charlotte and Dallas, making Monday’s win the first against a plus-.500 opponent.
Hornets MVP: It’s a testament to Gordon’s talent and ability that he continued to struggle with his shot Monday – through three quarters, he was just 5-for-16 – but still took over in crunch time, at one point draining four consecutive jumpers. During a critical juncture after San Antonio had pulled to within 70-65, Gordon carried New Orleans, scoring eight quick points. Overall, he finished 9-for-22 from the field and scored a team-best 24 points. In his four games back on the floor, the shooting guard is at just 35.4 percent from the field and 18.8 percent on three-pointers, yet his impact has been unmistakable – it’s still early, but the Hornets look like a much different team.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Jason Smith’s third consecutive quality performance featured 4-for-4 shooting from the field in 17 minutes of action. Smith has scored 12, 12 and now eight points in the past three games, after he had not cracked double digits since Dec. 8 at Miami. The 7-footer drained three outside shots in the first quarter, helping stake New Orleans to a 24-19 lead.
The buzz on… Anthony Davis vs. the rookie wall. In a few recent comments, Monty Williams has wondered aloud whether the Hornets’ No. 1 overall pick is starting to get fatigued as the midway point of his rookie season approaches. Davis has taken those words as kind of a good-natured challenge, vowing to play with more energy. “Coach Mont has been wanting me to play like this for the past four or five games,” a smiling Davis said. “He said I hit the rookie wall. I took that personally. I tried to play with a lot of energy from the jump. I’m going to go mess with him in a little bit.” He added of Monday’s game, “It was fun. When you play like that, you don’t feel yourself getting tired. I kept saying, ‘Coach Mont, I’m ready to get in! I’m ready to get in!’ ” The Kentucky product finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals in 26 minutes of action. He played just 12 minutes at Dallas on Saturday, but the Hornets have had the luxury recently of getting high-caliber contributions from multiple frontcourt players.