Hornets (13-37), Warriors (20-29)
It was over when
Marco Belinelli bottomed out a three-pointer from the left wing, giving New Orleans a 99-83 lead with 3:05 remaining. The trey gave Belinelli his fourth three-pointer of the game and helped ensure that the Hornets would win for the third time in their last four road games. New Orleans prevailed at Minnesota, New Jersey and Golden State (with an away defeat to the Clippers in between) since March 10. The Hornets were hardly threatened by the Warriors after taking a 57-40 halftime lead, en route to one of the clubs most comfortable victories of 2011-12.
Hornets MVP: Carl Landry continued to provide critical offensive punch since his return to the floor Saturday vs. San Antonio. With Chris Kaman (flu) sidelined during that same stretch of three games, Landry has been the unquestioned No. 1 post-up option in the paint. The 6-foot-9 power forward again used his edges in quickness and athleticism over opposing big men to score repeatedly around the rim. The Purdue products 14 points in the first half powered New Orleans to one of its best offensive stretches of the season. Landry was one of four players in double figures, including Belinelli (22 points), Jarrett Jack (20 points) and Jason Smith (12 points). Everybody stepped up big, from top to bottom, Landry said. I give everybody credit. We just had a team effort. We needed that, especially on the road.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Greivis Vasquez contributed a nice all-around game, featuring six points, four rebounds and six assists in 21 minutes of playing time. Vasquez was also a plus-12 in plus-minus ratio. Two nights after turnovers almost singlehandedly ruined the Hornets visit to Los Angeles, Vasquez did not commit a turnover, while Jack had just one miscue.
The buzz on
the Hornets' 19th different starting lineup of the season. There have been so many varied reasons for why players have missed games in 2011-12, but for once there is a positive story behind a Hornets absence. Gustavo Ayon left the teams road trip to be with his wife, who is expecting the couples child this week in New Orleans. On the downside, Kaman missed a third game due to illness, while Trevor Ariza went back to the too-long list of injured players with a sore ankle. Then again, it appears as though we may see Eric Gordon in uniform relatively soon, which would be a nice story to watch over the final few weeks of the season. Anyway, for the first time in 2011-12, the Hornets starting frontcourt featured the combination of Al-Farouq Aminu, Landry and Smith. Wednesdays victory was another example of several Hornets taking advantage of their unexpectedly large opportunity to play big minutes and contribute.