Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 123, Warriors 110

Wednesday, January 27, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

There hasn’t been this much reason for optimism surrounding the Hornets since 3 1/2 months ago, when October training camp brought the excitement of the dawn of a new season.

After being unable to beat virtually anyone on the road early in 2009-10, New Orleans (25-20) has now won seven of its past 10 away games. After faltering out of the gate and dropping five games below .500 at 3-8 in November, the Hornets are now five games above .500 for the first time all season. After spending months on the outside looking in of a tightly-contested Western Conference playoff race, a 63-45 edge in the middle quarters sparked NOLA to a win over the Warriors that – combined with several other favorable Wednesday outcomes – bumped the Hornets up to eighth place in the standings. Prior to this 3-1 road trip, New Orleans was in 12th. After fruitlessly searching for a long-term solution at shooting guard since Chris Paul's rookie season, they appear to have found one, only two games into Marcus Thornton’s stint as a first-stringer.

“All in all it was a great road trip for us,” Paul assessed. “I think we gained a lot of confidence. Everyone knows that our Achilles’ heel has been road wins. We showed on this trip that we’re capable of (winning). We’ve just got to take it for what it is, go back home and get a win.”

The Hornets host Chicago on Friday, then immediately hit the road again, visiting red-hot Memphis on Saturday.

Paul and new starting backcourt Thornton were dazzling in pulling away from the shorthanded Warriors (13-31). Paul racked up 38 points, while rookie Thornton was excellent again in NBA start No. 2, tallying 18 points. Two days earlier in Portland, the Louisiana State product scored 19.

For more from players and coaches from both teams on this game, click on NEWS/Postgame Quotes.