Hornets.com postgame: Raptors 95, Hornets 84

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Raptors (11-24), Hornets (8-27)

It was over when… DeMar DeRozan breezed in for a layup along the right baseline, giving Toronto a 92-81 lead with about 1:30 remaining. The Raptors trailed 69-62 entering the fourth quarter, but completely dominated the final 12 minutes, outscoring the Hornets by a 33-15 margin. New Orleans dropped its second straight game following the All-Star break, losing the momentum it had built prior to the midseason hiatus.

Hornets MVP: Marco Belinelli led the Hornets with 20 points, including 6-for-6 shooting from the foul line. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Other than one layup apiece by Jarrett Jack and Lance Thomas, Belinelli was the only New Orleans player to tally a field goal in the fourth quarter, with a pair of three-pointers.

Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Jack was given the in-arena distinction, but let’s go with Solomon Jones. The backup center, who is in the second of two 10-day contracts, delivered a second straight valuable contribution, this time posting nine points and six rebounds in 24 minutes. The previous night in Chicago, Jones had 10 points and four boards in 20 minutes.

The buzz on… a letdown after a near-miss in Chicago. Coaches and players often say there are no moral victories in the NBA, but even if there were, Monty Williams expressed concern that Tuesday’s four-point defeat against the Bulls was “fool’s gold,” because it would mean absolutely nothing when the team took the home floor 24 hours later in New Orleans. Williams’ adamant trepidation proved prophetic, as the Hornets lost by double digits to a struggling Raptors team, the first NOLA defeat by 10 points or more since a Feb. 8 home rout against the Bulls. “It’s frustrating after the effort we gave in Chicago,” Jack said of coming back a day later to lose to Toronto. “You’ve got to be ready regardless and have the same approach (every game), regardless of who you’re playing. Especially when they come into your building. You have to feel like this is a place you really want to protect.”