Pacers (23-12), Hornets (9-28)
It was over when
George Hill drained a long two-pointer late in the third quarter, giving Indiana a 79-54 lead entering the final stanza. The Pacers took control in the second period, using a 29-14 edge to go up by 17 at intermission. New Orleans lost for the third time in four games since the All-Star break and suffered through a rare one-sided defeat. It was the Hornets first home loss by double digits since Feb. 8 vs. Chicago. New Orleans now heads out on a four-game road trip all against Western Conference opponents, including Portland, Sacramento, Denver and Minnesota.
Hornets MVP: It couldve gone to Jarrett Jack, who led the Hornets in scoring with 18 points, or Gustavo Ayon (10 points, six rebounds, four assists, two blocks), who had a decent all-around game. But lets acknowledge Solomon Jones, who again did a very good job, particularly for a player who is on a second 10-day contract. His deal expires after Mondays game in Portland, meaning the Hornets will have to decide whether to re-sign him for the rest of 2011-12. Jones 12 points was two shy of his career high. He also had nine rebounds, within a board of his career best in that stat.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: With Jones taking the MVP award as a sub, there wasnt a lot else to choose from. Other than Jones, the reserves only had a total of three points through three quarters. In the fourth period, Xavier Henry dropped in nine points, helping to make the final score more respectable after New Orleans fell behind by as many as 30.
The buzz on
the return of a very familiar face. After eight years with the Hornets, including two All-Star appearances, David West signed with the Pacers during the abbreviated offseason that led up to the 2011-12 campaign. In various articles, West cited New Orleans ownership question marks and uncertain future as reasons behind his decision to leave the Hornets after nearly a decade. The 6-foot-9 power forward received a nice ovation tonight when he was introduced in the starting lineup, then was booed mildly after his first few baskets in the first half. As the night progressed, however, the boos went away completely. During the timeout between the first and second quarters, the Hornets played a minute-long video tribute on the BuzzVision screen. West watched most of the video while standing in front of Indianas bench, as his Pacers teammates applauded. West appeared to get slightly emotional for a brief moment, uncharacteristic of the all-business West, but then seemed to re-focus on the game. It was good to see some familiar people, said West, who greeted numerous team staff members beforehand. I had some good times and I enjoyed myself obviously. I am very appreciative of how I was treated while I was here. West had a typical game, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds despite playing only 29 minutes due to the blowout victory.