Defense had been the hallmark of the Hornets recent improved play, but today New Orleans (19-16) leaned on its stellar perimeter shooting to overtake the high-scoring Wizards and win a sixth consecutive game. Five different Hornets drilled at least one three-pointer, combining to tie a team season-high with 13 successful treys.
Peja Stojakovic set the tone for the Hornets three-point binge with three of them in the first quarter, part of his 20-point game.
Our main focus the last couple games has been to move the ball and get guys in good positions to score the ball, Stojakovic said. I think for most of the game we were able to do that.
It was Stojakovics first 20-point game since he had 24 against Denver on Dec. 18.
Maybe I was more aggressive, moving without the ball and using screens better, Stojakovic assessed. I got going early, felt good and it was a good (game) for me.
The same could be said for Marcus Thornton and James Posey, who joined Stojakovic in canning three shots from beyond the arc.
Thorntons playing time has increased noticeably during the six-game winning streak, and he took advantage this afternoon with 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting. He also grabbed four rebounds and three steals, one of the best games hes had as a pro. Meanwhile, Posey continues to drill timely shots, scoring 11 points despite only taking four field-goal attempts.
The Hornets appeared potentially headed to a comfortable win after building a double-digit lead in the second half, but the Wizards surged back to take a small lead. New Orleans regained its footing though and improved to 3-0 on the road in 2010, after going just 2-13 there in 09.
We are still getting better as a team, Stojakovic said. Tonight we were up 14 and we let the lead slip away. Weve got to be more focused on our gameplan and be able to finish games better.