Hornets.com postgame: Warriors 110, Hornets 103

Wednesday, January 5, 2011
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

It was over when… Golden State’s Reggie Williams connected on two free throws, giving the Warriors a 109-101 lead with 24 seconds remaining. The Hornets lost for just the fifth time this season at home, in 19 games. The loss to the Warriors is their lone defeat against an opponent that is currently below .500. The other home L’s were to the Spurs, Knicks, Thunder and Lakers.

Hornets MVP: Chris Paul delivered a vintage performance, with 24 points, six rebounds and 13 assists. His 14 points and six assists helped stake New Orleans to a seemingly comfortable 58-47 halftime lead.

Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Jarrett Jack won the poll in our Hornets.com live chat with 63 percent of the vote (Willie Green netted 25 percent, with Quincy Pondexter receiving 13 percent). But Green was the decisive winner in the in-arena text vote and rightly so. Green tallied 11 of the bench’s 26 points and five of the reserves’ 13 rebounds. After Okafor fouled out midway through the fourth quarter, the Hornets went with a small lineup that frequently featured Green offensively.

The buzz on… finding a solution to the drop-off in play from New Orleans’ reserves. While sounding frustrated by the bench’s lack of production Wednesday and in recent games, Monty Williams discussed altering how he distributes playing time in his postgame interview. “We have to get consistent production out of our bench,” Williams said. “It’s not me calling these guys out, but too many times our starters are giving us leads, and we’re not sustaining. That’s unfair to the starting lineup.

“We have to be able to have balance. Trying to change the rotation on a night in and night out basis to cover up some of the mistakes we’re having, it puts us in a tough spot… I have to address it with minutes. Guys have to know when they come in the game that we can’t give up leads. I’m not going to put this all on the bench. We made a lot of mistakes tonight. We missed a ton of free throws and had a ton of turnovers. You can’t call yourself a good team when you can’t put teams like that away when you have a lead.”

Blog question of the night: Throughout the remainder of January, it’s time for Hornets “mid-term” grades. Second up is starting two-guard Marco Belinelli. What grade would you give the offseason trade acquisition, based on expectations going into 2010-11?