Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 87, Trail Blazers 82

Friday, November 14, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Devin Brown moved into the rotation Friday, as Chris Paul’s new backup. He played like he doesn’t plan on leaving the lineup anytime soon. Brown and James Posey both made key contributions off New Orleans’ bench in the fourth quarter, sparking the Hornets to a hard-fought victory.

After receiving more criticism from Byron Scott for its overall rough start to the season, the second unit responded against Portland. As a result, Scott trusted the bench to play in critical junctures more than he had in any game so far in 2008-09.

That Posey played well was no news flash – he’s been outstanding since the opener in Golden State. Brown’s performance was a welcome sight after Scott had gradually limited Mike James’ playing time, to the point where James only logged six minutes Wednesday vs. the Lakers.

Brown finished with eight points and six rebounds, but the biggest number may have been 14:32, his playing time Friday. As a result, Paul “only” had to play 37 minutes. Scott has been trying to limit Paul’s workload, but the Hornets have needed CP3 on the floor as much as possible, to try to win games.

“Devin’s a tough kid who plays extremely hard,” Scott assessed. “I thought he did a heck of a job of running the team offensively. He might not score a lot of points, but his rebounding and defense were great. I was very pleased with the way the second unit played tonight, especially defensively, so hopefully they can keep doing that.”

New Orleans clung to a 77-76 lead before Posey drilled a three-pointer with 1:26 remaining. Brown later tacked on two free throws with 7.3 seconds left, giving the Hornets an 84-79 lead. After a Brandon Roy trey, Paul sank three straight free throws to ice it.

Posey has been tremendous from the three-point arc so far, but he’s been particularly lethal in the fourth quarter.

“He showed me that in games 1 and 2,” Scott said, when asked whether Posey demonstrated Friday why New Orleans made a wise move to sign him. “Now it’s becoming an instant replay. We got him here for what he does on the defensive end, and his ability to hit big shots with the game on the line. He was able to come through big-time tonight.”

HORNETS POSTGAME QUOTES
Byron Scott

“Portland is a very talented young team. We are going to have to reckon with them all season long. This is a big time win for us.”

Devin Brown
On the game: “We definitely needed this win. The guys in the second unit came out, played hard and got us in the game. We took them (Portland) out of their plays, which is very important. They had top start running their offense at 10 or 11 on the shot clock, as opposed to having a full clock. I think the second unit did a great job.”

David WestOn the game: “I think the main objective is to be productive and effective, and ultimately win games. That’s what it comes down to. I felt a little bit looser. We came out, as a team, a little more ready to play.”