Hornets.com postgame: 76ers 96, Hornets 92

Monday, January 11, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

The Hornets have played numerous games recently in which they didn’t play their best basketball, but still managed to pull out a victory. It finally caught up to them tonight in Philadelphia, where a game-long uphill battle ultimately spelled the end of New Orleans' six-game winning streak.

In losing for the first time since Dec. 29, the Hornets (19-17) fell behind by 16 points in the first half against the struggling Sixers (12-25). New Orleans managed to come all the way back and trailed by just one point entering the fourth quarter. Philadelphia regained a double-digit advantage, but the visitors tied the game in the final minute.

After a scramble for a loose ball, Sixers center Samuel Dalembert made the biggest basket of the game, a hook shot to give Philly a two-point lead with 25 seconds left. Peja Stojakovic missed a corner three-pointer, prior to Andre Iguodala sinking two free throws.

New Orleans was in position to win a fourth straight road game late, despite so-so offensive performances by the team’s three leading scorers, Chris Paul (5-for-13 shooting), David West (6-for-17) and Peja Stojakovic (4-for-12, 1-for-7 on treys). It was a testament to the continued progress made by the bulk of the rotation. Emeka Okafor (20 points, 11 rebounds) played arguably his best game as a Hornet, while Marcus Thornton, James Posey and Darius Songaila all made valuable contributions off the bench.

HORNETS POSTGAME QUOTES (courtesy Philadelphia 76ers)
Head Coach Jeff Bower

As you came down the stretch, was the shot by Peja Stojakovic the first look or was there a break down?
“That was one of the looks. The first look was up top; nothing developed and swung back to Peja Stojakovic making it a secondary look. We probably could have got a better look but, Peja Stojakovic is a heck of an end-of-game shooter.”
On the Sixers defense towards the end of the game:
“They did a real good job switching out and keeping the ball in front of them.”
On the Sixers start:
“The start of the game really put us behind. We really didn’t get things going until the second quarter and the Sixers started off solid. It was hard to overcome.”

Peja Stojakovic
On what made the Sixers so difficult to play against tonight:
“They made big runs and were very consistent on defense. They had a bigger lineup which made it difficult to defend them.”
On Peja Stojakovic’s last shot:
“That last shot was my shot. I thought I had a good look, but just couldn’t finish. I should’ve passed it out to Chris (Paul) to get a better shot.”
On the comeback:
“It was tough to comeback and we didn’t play consistent enough to get it done. They made big plays, so we have to give the Sixers credit on this game.”

Armstrong traded to Kings for conditional pick

The New Orleans Hornets announced today that they have acquired a conditional second round draft pick in 2016 from the Sacramento Kings in exchange for center Hilton Armstrong and cash considerations.

The Hornets drafted Armstrong 12th overall in the 2006 NBA Draft. Armstrong holds career averages of 3.6 points and 2.7 rebounds in four seasons with New Orleans. He played in 18 games this season with the Hornets, averaging 2.8 points and 3.4 rebounds.