Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 99, Trail Blazers 63
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Hornets (19-34), Trail Blazers (25-28)
It was over when… New Orleans rode a stingy defense to a 67-44 lead through three quarters and later expanded the advantage to an astronomical 39 at one stage of the fourth. Portland’s 26 points in the first half represented the fewest points a New Orleans opponent has tallied all season. The Hornets not only headed into the All-Star break with two consecutive victories, but also two of their best 48-minutes performances of the season. New Orleans posted consecutive double-digit victories for only the second time all season, beating Detroit by 19 and Portland by 36.
Hornets MVP: Anthony Davis had been relatively quiet offensively over the past few weeks, but he closed the first half of his rookie campaign with one of his best games. Davis showed off his versatile package of skills by finishing often around the rim, but also adding a few mid-range jumpers and hook shots to his usual arsenal. Davis finished with 21 points (10-for-17 field-goal shooting) and 11 rebounds. He also swatted two shots. “The future looks extremely bright for him,” an impressed Grevis Vasquez complimented.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: For the second consecutive game, Ryan Anderson threw down an athletic and ferocious dunk that had teammates leaping off the bench to celebrate a relatively rare Anderson slam. Anderson’s flying cram punctuated his 14-point, seven-rebound game. The first-year Hornet will represent the organization in Saturday’s three-point shootout having made at least one trey in each of his last nine games.
The buzz on… French fries. The Hornets have a promotion in which fans can pick up free fries at local participating McDonald’s restaurants when the team scores 100 points or more. With 98 points already on the board and just 11 seconds remaining, Hornets reserve forward Lance Thomas stepped to the foul line for two “pressure-packed” free throws, but missed his first attempt. After the game, Thomas vowed to make it up to fans by buying fries for anyone with a game ticket Thursday night at the McDonald’s on Canal Street between 7 and 8 p.m. After Portland sank a pair of free throws with 3.2 seconds left, New Orleans had another potential chance to reach 100 and inbounded to Brian Roberts, who looked over at Monty Williams. The coach gave Roberts the sign not to shoot, in deference to sportsmanship and respect for the Trail Blazers. “I heard the boos, but it’s all right – they were hungry,” Roberts joked. “We have to play (Portland) again later in the season, so we don’t want to rub it in their face or anything like that.”