On multiple occasions tonight, Marcus Thornton had everyone leafing through the Hornets record book, while establishing several new franchise marks. Despite a record-setting performance by the LSU product, the Cavaliers ultimately prevailed with a late surge. Cleveland (44-14) outscored New Orleans (30-27) by a 16-6 margin over the final four minutes, ending its three-game losing streak.
After going scoreless during a brief first-quarter stint, Thornton piled up a stunning 37 points over the last three periods. En route to a memorable individual performance, the 6-foot-4 shooting guard added his name to franchise history in the following ways:
Thorntons 23-point second quarter is the most by any Hornets player in the 22-year history of the franchise. During the individual eruption, he displayed his wide array of offensive skills, drilling a three-pointer, canning several long-range jumpers, tallying a pair of fast-break layups and scoring off a rebound.
His 37 points overall tied him for most by a Hornets rookie in team history. He will now share that mark with Alonzo Mourning and Rex Chapman. It could be pointed out that Chapman was a rookie on the inaugural Hornets team of 1988-89, while Mourning also was instantly a primary option in his debut season of 1992-93.
The 37 points established a Hornets record for most points ever in a game by a player who came off the bench. The previous record was 33, held by Dell Curry, who also happens to be the franchises all-time leading scorer.
As impressive as Thorntons outing was, it wasnt the only high-quality game by a Hornets rookie against the NBAs best team record-wise. Darren Collison continued his outstanding play at starting point guard, dominating 2009 All-Star Mo Williams at times. Collison finished with 22 points, the sixth time in the last seven games that hes tallied more than 20.
For more on this game from players and coaches, click on NEWS/Postgame Quotes on Hornets.com.