Hornets fans who attended Fridays home loss vs. Toronto may not have recognized their favorite team on the floor in Los Angeles tonight.
Here was Devin Brown, who hadnt scored this season through Friday, pouring in a career-high-tying 25 points and a career-best five three-pointers vs. the Clippers. Over the past 48 hours, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard has gone from inactive to starting alongside Chris Paul in the backcourt.
Here was Peja Stojakovic, now in a starting role, joining Brown during an early New Orleans three-point barrage. The Hornets sank seven trifectas in the first quarter alone.
Here were Hornets rookies Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton, receiving meaningful minutes for the first time in their pro careers.
One thing remained unchanged, though: Pauls dominant play and superb shooting. The two-time All-Star racked up 24 points (10-for-14 on field goals) and 10 assists, in just 25 minutes. In improving to 3-5 and notching their first road victory of 2009-10, the Hornets built a 31-point lead through three quarters, allowing CP3 to sit for the entire final period.
Other developments from tonights 28-point win, the first New Orleans triumph of the season that came by a decisive margin:
Whenever new players are moved into a rotation, it means someone must move out of the mix. For the Hornets, the upgraded roles for Collison and Thornton meant Bobby Brown and previous starter Julian Wright watched from the bench until the outcome was decided.
New Orleans ended a 10-game road losing streak (including the 09 playoffs in Denver). The timing for a positive result was excellent because the Hornets next several away games this month are all against quality opponents, including Phoenix and Atlanta later in the week.
HORNETS POSTGAME QUOTES (courtesy Los Angeles Clippers)
Hornets Guard Devin Brown
Re: Tonights performance
We played well tonight. We came in here wanting to win and we did. We all love to play basketball and we love to win even more. Throughout the game we were comfortable passing the ball and shooting it, we had good rhythm and our comfort level was at its peak tonight. If we continue to play like we did tonight we can win more games.
Hornets Guard Chris Paul
Re: Baron Davis
At the kids camp that I run I always use Baron[Davis] as one of the best guards in the NBA right now. Baron has great strength and athleticism. Coach was trying to see what we can do to stop Baron[Davis]. We transitioned and ran the ball well around the court. We made shots and our defense was good, we defended well and gave up the opportunity to win.
Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott
Re: End of losing streak
We got tired of the way we were playing, we got tired of losing. There was not a whole lot of instruction this morning. We went over a couple of specific things, they had a players meeting last night but Chris [Paul] said it best: Enough is Enough.