Hornets.com postgame: Knicks 100, Hornets 87
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Knicks (24-13), Hornets (11-26)
It was over when… Amar’e Stoudemire drained four straight free throws, putting New York up 96-81 with 2:08 remaining. New Orleans started quickly with a 29-22 edge through a quarter, but sputtered offensively in the second period and couldn’t quite catch the hosts in the second half. NOLA pulled to within 71-66 of New York through three quarters, but the Knicks immediately surged back into a double-figure edge. The Hornets’ season-best four-game winning streak came to an end on the first stop of their East Coast road trip, which continues Tuesday in Philadelphia.
Hornets MVP: Eric Gordon appeared to be rounding into form physically a bit more, particularly in the first half, when he scored 16 of his team-high 22 points. Gordon had three layups in the opening quarter and repeatedly darted into the paint on offense. He also finished 7-for-9 from the foul line. On the downside, Gordon continues to struggle with his perimeter shot, going 1-for-6 from beyond the arc. The fifth-year pro is just 5-for-32 on three-pointers this season. He’s a career 36.5 percent shooter from long distance.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Monty Williams was critical of his bench following the game Sunday, in particular regarding a second-quarter stretch in which the reserves turned a seven-point lead into a deficit. Roger Mason, who has been scorching hot from three-point range in January, added to his recent accuracy by going 2-for-3 there. Mason paced the bench with nine points overall.
The buzz on... the winning streak coming to an end. The Hornets' finest stretch of basketball in 2012-13 included quality victories over San Antonio, Houston and Minnesota - all either playoff locks or contenders - as well as an overtime win at Dallas. It came to an end in an unusual 11 a.m. (Central) Sunday matinee in New York City, in which the Hornets started quickly but seemed to fade just as fast. “The second quarter wasn’t great but I thought from the start of the game we didn’t have a competitive edge,” Williams assessed. “We kind of had them on their heels early, scored some easy baskets in the paint. Our second unit came in, didn’t give us any kind of a lift. So I thought (our drop-off in play) started way before that second quarter slide. We just didn’t play with a sense of urgency. After winning four games in a row, I thought our guys kind of rested on the fact that we could show up (and that would be good enough)... You don't expect that after the way we have been playing."