Hornets.com postgame: Kings 105, Hornets 96

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

En route to posting a franchise-record 56 victories, the Hornets rarely lost a close game last season. After a so-so start to 2007-08, they also rarely lost on their home floor. As New Orleans coach Byron Scott reminded his players on Wednesday, though, last season is over.

In a previously nip-and-tuck game, the Kings went on an 18-8 run over the final 5:07, handing the Hornets their third home loss here in just six tries. New Orleans dropped to 5-5 overall, continuing its recent inconsistency following a 3-0 start to the season.

“I told our guys that they’re fooling themselves if they think teams are scared of us when we step on the court,” Scott said. “We haven’t done anything for teams to be scared of us. We’ve got to compete for 48 minutes, and we’re not doing that. If you play (hard) for (only) 24 minutes, you’re going to lose the game.”

Making the loss even tougher to swallow was the fact that Sacramento (5-8) was playing the second of back-to-back games. The Kings had lost by 15 at Memphis on Tuesday.

“I would have to say so,” Scott said, when asked by radio analyst Gerry Vaillancourt if this was the most disappointing loss of the season. “I thought (Sacramento) played harder than we did in the second half. They had much more energy. It seemed like they wanted the game more than we did.

“I told the guys they have to go home and look in the mirror, and ask yourself, 'Are you playing as hard as you can play?’ Collectively, we’re not playing 110 percent or with that sense of urgency. I don’t know what we’re waiting on, but if we wait 10 or 15 more games, in this conference, you’re going to be out of it.”

Former Hornets guard Bobby Jackson sparked Sacramento’s game-closing run, scoring all eight of his points in the final 5:07. Jackson drilled a pair of clutch three-pointers. Both teams enjoyed tremendous shooting nights, but Sacramento hit on 54.8 percent of its attempts.

“One of the (assistant) coaches said that whenever we make strides on defense, we seem to take two steps back,” Scott assessed.

David West

On the loss: “This is a bad loss for us. We definitely have taken steps back as a team. We’re going to have to come together and make a push because right now teams are just walking over us. This is another game where I feel like (we’re) at home (and) have a few days rest. We’re not supposed to lose this game. They made some tough shots. We didn’t defend. They were basically running the same two plays down the stretch and we couldn’t figure it out. Bobby (Jackson) hit some big shots out of that corner. We just couldn’t keep pace with them.

“This is the first game that we got out-gunned defensively. We just weren’t snappy enough. I’m really disappointed with this loss. This is a bad one.”

Peja Stojakovic
On Sacramento: “They haven’t been playing good basketball and they have a couple of hurt players. Playing at home and coming off of a bad stretch, we were hoping for better energy on both ends of the floor. (We were hoping for) more consistency, which we didn’t have.

“They really executed well offensively down the stretch. They moved the ball with the pick and roll. Bobby (Jackson) got a couple of good looks.”

Bobby Jackson

(On his 4th quarter shots)
“That’s how I play. I’ve done it all my career. I don’t mind taking the big shots. I like that pressure. If you give me the ball everybody knows I’m going to shoot it. You either make it or miss it. I don’t care if I make it or miss it.”

(On coming back to New Orleans and getting a win)
“It was big. No one wants to get traded. Every team you play against you want to beat that team and play well. I didn’t make any shots in the 1st half, but this game is 48 minutes. I try to do the right things defensively and offensively to give us a chance to win and we did that tonight. We played extremely well considering what we did last night (109-94 loss to Memphis).”