Hornets.com postgame: Warriors 101, Hornets 92

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Warriors (19-25), Hornets (11-35)

It was over when… Klay Thompson threw down a baseline dunk with 1:30 remaining, giving Golden State a 101-90 lead and the rookie his NBA high in scoring with 27 points. The Warriors led just 75-72 through three quarters but took over late on the strength of their outstanding perimeter shooting. New Orleans dropped the opener of its three-game homestand. On Thursday, Chris Paul makes his return to the Crescent City, the only time the Clippers will play here this season.


Hornets MVP: With 24 seconds remaining and the Hornets in an insurmountable hole, the BuzzVision scoreboard displayed the message that Jarrett Jack had achieved his first-ever triple-double in the NBA. The Bee-Zanies acknowledged the feat by chanting “triple-double!” Unfortunately there wasn’t much enjoyment in the stat for the point guard. “It’s cool, it’s an accomplishment, but we didn’t win,” Jack said after the game. “It’s unfortunate,” Monty Williams said of the loss, “because you’d love to be able to celebrate that (Jack’s triple-double).”


Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: In his first game since an ultra-brief D-League stint, Xavier Henry displayed the aggressiveness on offense that should help open up his game at that end of the floor. Henry scored nine points in the fourth quarter, part of his 13-point night. Five of his six baskets came on layups or dunks, a development Williams praised after the game. “I did see some growth from Xavier tonight,” Williams said. “I thought he attacked the basket.”


The buzz on… the return of CP3. Emotions will likely be at a high level in the New Orleans Arena stands Thursday night, when arguably the greatest player in Hornets history plays in an opposing uniform for the first time. It’s probably not going to be an overwhelming topic of discussion in the home locker room, though, partly because the Hornets have several players who have never met Paul before. Of the 10 Hornets who received playing time in Wednesday’s loss to the Warriors, only four were teammates of Paul’s last season (Jack, Marco Belinelli, Trevor Ariza and Jason Smith). The other six players are new members of the team, including Chris Kaman and Al-Farouq Aminu, both of whom came to New Orleans as part of the December trade with the Clippers.


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Shootaround: March 21 vs. Warriors


Updates from Wednesday’s shootaround in the New Orleans Arena:

• Hornets power forward Carl Landry (knee) is a game-time decision to play against the Warriors. If he is able to play, it will be his first action since suffering an MCL knee sprain Feb. 4 at Detroit. The Hornets have gone 7-14 in the 21 games since their damaging loss at the Pistons. “We don’t know (if he’s going to play),” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “We’ll have to wait and see. He probably has some soreness. I think any time you come back to practice hard after that injury, I’m pretty sure he has a level of soreness.”

• Former LSU center Chris Johnson will be in uniform for the Hornets and available to play, though Williams said he isn’t sure if Johnson will make his New Orleans debut. With Jason Smith returning recently and Landry potentially back as well, the Hornets suddenly would have a greater number of big bodies available for minutes than in recent weeks. “I don’t know,” Williams said on if there will be a Johnson sighting Wednesday. “We have so many bigs now.”

• Tonight’s game marks the return to New Orleans of assistant coach Michael Malone, who obviously has made Golden State’s defensive execution similar to what the Hornets attempted last season. “You can certainly see the impact that Mike is trying to imprint on their team, as far as trying to defend better and loading to the ball,” Williams said of a Warriors club historically known for offensive exploits.

• Warriors center Andris Biedrins is a game-time decision. If he is unable to play, it’s likely Golden State will extensively use small lineups. The Warriors’ only other 7-footer, Andrew Bogut, may miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle. On Monday, Golden State gave backup forward Dominic McGuire extensive minutes in Biedrins’ stead.