Spurs (39-14), Hornets (14-41)
It was over when
San Antonio blitzed New Orleans in the first half, scoring countless easy baskets en route to a 72-45 lead. The Hornets have never overcome that large of a halftime deficit in the 24-year history of the franchise. Two-thirds of the Hornets games this season have been decided by 10 points or less, but this was the most one-sided contest of the campaign. The Spurs outscored their guests by 10 points in the first quarter and 17 in the second to pile up their hefty intermission advantage. For a Hornets team that prides itself on defense, it was a forgettable Friday in Texas.
Hornets MVP: Eric Gordon scored one-third of the Hornets points in the first half, tallying 15 of the 45. He finished with 31 points, more than any New Orleans player has deposited in a game all season. The shooting guard upped his season average (over four games played) to 22.0 points. His previous Hornets high was 22 vs. Philadelphia.
Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Aside from Gordon, Marco Belinelli was the only Hornet who produced significant offense in the first half, bagging a pair of three-pointers among 10 points. The native of Italy added six more points in the fourth quarter to lead the bench in scoring with 16. Carl Landry also was a rare bright spot with 13 points, including 10 trips to the foul line.
The buzz on
Gordon in his second game back from injury. After being out of rhythm for stretches Wednesday while playing for the first time since Jan. 4, the fourth-year pro looked a lot more like the Eric Gordon from his Clipper days tonight. The Indiana University product went 11-for-19 from the field, but did most of his damage around the basket, using quickness and crafty drives to get into the lane. Gordon was just 2-for-7 from three-point range, which means he was 9-for-12 on twos. Only two of those baskets were off long jumpers; the rest were layups or mid-range shots. In the third quarter, for example, he had a fast-break layup, along with three other close-range hoops. While many think of Gordon as an excellent perimeter shooter and at 37 percent from three-point range, thats true what makes him dangerous is his versatility. During his rookie year with the Clippers, 32 percent of his made field goals were three-pointers, but that portion dropped to 25 percent last season, his third in the league. In a small four-game sample with the Hornets, just five of his 31 baskets have been treys. Hes actually struggled from beyond the arc so far at 5-for-22 (22.7 percent), but once he finds his touch there, he figures to be even more potent.