Hornets.com postgame: Spurs 109, Hornets 95

Sunday, November 28, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Spurs (14-2), Hornets (12-4)

It was over when... Richard Jefferson converted a three-point play after a fast-break layup, giving San Antonio a 101-86 edge with just 3:08 remaining. The Spurs handed the Hornets their first home loss of 2010-11 in eight games. San Antonio also managed to even the season series with New Orleans. The clubs meet again a week from today in Texas, then wrap up the head-to-head series Jan. 22 in Louisiana.

Hornets MVP: David West received a steady diet of feeds in the post early, scoring 16 points in the first quarter and powering New Orleans to command of the game prior to intermission. After tallying 18 points before the break, however, West only had five points in the latter half, on just three attempts from the field.

“Nobody could handle David West,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “He was fantastic (in the first half). We just decided to do something a little bit differently with him and it seemed to work.”

Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Marcus Thornton turned in one of his best games of the young season, scoring 11 points to reach double digits for the first time since Oct. 30. Coincidentally, or maybe not, Thornton’s top two point totals of 2010-11 both have been against the Spurs. His season-high is 17 points, set in the win on San Antonio’s home floor. Thornton’s 20 minutes of action Sunday also represented the most playing time for him in November.

The buzz on… how the Hornets measure up against the best teams in the Western Conference. Sunday’s game provided another test to see if New Orleans could compete with one of the clubs that was assumed to be clearly better entering 2010-11. For one half, everything went the Hornets’ way, but it ultimately proved to be a setback for NOLA in its quest to be deemed one of the elite squads in the West. Defense, which has been the hallmark of the Hornets over the first month of the regular season, was to blame for this defeat. The Hornets were excellent in several offensive categories, shooting exactly 50 percent from the field and 46 percent on three-pointers while only committing 12 turnovers.

Despite his Spurs team piling up 65 points in the second half, Popovich said this after the game about NOLA’s early-season results: “Monty and his staff have done a great job of putting in a system in that the players have learned very, very quickly. It’s almost impossible to do what they’ve done… to be able to be on the same page the way that they are and do that at the beginning of the season (is impressive). You would think that would take you at least half of the season for a new staff to come in and do it… Right now they are one of the top defensive teams in the league.”

Blog question of the night: The Hornets introduced their brand-new gold alternate uniforms prior to Sunday’s game. New Orleans will wear the threads a total of 10 times over the remainder of the regular season, beginning Dec. 10 at home vs. Oklahoma City. Due to their lighter color, the Hornets will be able to wear them at home (like the Los Angeles Lakers) or on the road. What is your opinion of the new uniforms?