Hornets.com postgame: Wizards 96, Hornets 91

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Two nights ago, the Hornets posted one of their best victories of the season by beating the defending NBA champion Lakers. Chris Paul said afterward that the victory, “does no good if you come out the next game and play sluggish. We’ve got to find a way to do this night in and night out.”

Unfortunately, Paul’s 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 league’s 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 we’re almost 80 games into our season – we should know what’s a slow start. None of us want this feeling. This hurts me personally, because you just get tired of losing. But we’re going to build from this. We’ve 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 NBA’s 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 you’ve got to watch out for. You can’t play to the level of the competition every time. At some point, you’ve got to play to your team’s ability.”