Unfortunately, Pauls concern about a possible lackluster follow-up performance proved to be legitimate. The Hornets suffered one of their worst defeats of 2009-10, falling to the Wizards, who had dropped 16 consecutive games.
As well as the Hornets performed against the best team in the Western Conference, 48 hours later they were on the other end of the spectrum while facing the leagues third-worst team record-wise. New Orleans (35-41) trailed virtually from wire to wire, never leading by more than two points.
We came out lethargic, said Darren Collison, who had one of the Hornets better showings with 14 points in only 24 minutes. Right now were almost 80 games into our season we should know whats a slow start. None of us want this feeling. This hurts me personally, because you just get tired of losing. But were going to build from this. Weve got to stick together as a team.
In a season that has had many ups and downs and will end without a playoff trip for the first time since 2007, the Hornets have beaten several of the NBAs best teams, but also lost to a few of the bottom-feeders.
This is a game you should win, especially with homecourt, Collison said. These are the games youve got to watch out for. You cant play to the level of the competition every time. At some point, youve got to play to your teams ability.