Hornets.com postgame: Spurs 99, Hornets 94
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Spurs (20-8), Hornets (5-21)
It was over when… San Antonio collected a defensive rebound with 45 seconds remaining, holding a 98-90 lead. The Spurs had a shot-clock violation on the ensuing possession, but that was almost as good as a basket under the circumstances with time winding down. New Orleans dropped its 10th consecutive game, the Hornets’ first double-digit losing streak since the 2004-05 season. After an 0-4 road trip, they head home to take on the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Hornets MVP: Anthony Davis played perhaps his best or second-best game since returning from an ankle injury this month. The rookie forward registered 18 points, 11 rebounds, one steal and one block in 38 minutes. Stats couldn’t tell the entire story, however, as the No. 1 overall pick authored a few eye-opening plays that few men of his 6-foot-10 stature could make. During one second-half sequence, he hauled in a long pass from Greivis Vasquez, saved the ball to a teammate as his momentum took him out of bounds, then circled back into the action and threw down a one-handed slam off Vasquez’s lob pass.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: It was a good sign to see Roger Mason look as aggressive on offense Friday as he has in just about any game this season. The former Spurs starting shooting guard provided a nice boost in both halves and finished the game with 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting. Mason has been surprisingly shy on offense for much of 2012-13; known primarily for his perimeter shooting, he’s only attempted one field goal every 4.1 minutes. The only Hornets players who have fired shots less frequently than Mason are Lance Thomas (1 FGA every 5.1 minutes) and Darius Miller (7.5).
The buzz on… a familiar storyline on the road. Once again on Friday, the Hornets were within striking distance in the fourth quarter of an away game, but couldn’t generate enough offense to get over the top against a quality opponent. Head coach Monty Williams was pleased with his team’s defense – it heldSan Antonio to 45 points in the second half – but attributed the problem partly to inexperience. The Hornets are the second-youngest team in the league and don’t have anyone on the roster who has filed a significant role for an NBA team that's advanced deep into the postseason. “That’s when you need a couple guys who have been there and done that,” Williams said of crunch time. “(Players) who can get to the basket or draw a foul at the end of games, or knock down a tough shot because they’ve done it before. Everybody on our team, to a man, has never been in that position before. We’re trying to do it by committee. Our defense was good enough in the second half; we just couldn’t close with the big shots we needed on the offensive end.”