Hornets (13-5), Bobcats (6-12)
It was over when... Chris Paul swished a mid-range jumper, giving New Orleans a 13-point lead with 1:10 remaining. Although the final score indicated a 16-point Hornets victory, it was actually a bit closer game than that, but the hosts put it away with a big late surge.
Hornets MVP: Emeka Okafor's offensive production has been unpredictable of late, but it returned nicely Wednesday, to the tune of 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting. He also grabbed 13 rebounds. Both of those numbers were the best he's put up over the last six games. Okafor partly credited playing at home for the team's increased energy level. "It's great to be back home," Okafor said, after NOLA had played five of the previous six on the road. "The hometown crowd is great. It gave us the boost that we needed."
Hornets Sixth of the Game: Willie Green provided his somewhat common dose of contributions across the board, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. He also helped defend the Bobcats wing players, who were missing leading scorer Stephen Jackson (suspension). Green drew a charge on Gerald Wallace during Charlotte's meager 11-point fourth quarter.
The buzz on... Chris Paul's aggressiveness - or the perception of a lack of it. After the game, Paul was asked several questions about whether he thinks he should try to take over the game in fourth quarters (meaning shoot more). Paul disagreed to an extent, saying that he always reviews film of games to see if there are situations in which he should've shot instead of dishing to a teammate, but that he's been reacting to how defenses are devoting considerable attention to him.
"I think a lot of people are saying I need to shoot more," Paul responded. "I shoot when I can, you know what I mean? I'm not going to force it.
"I push the tempo, (but) every time I push it, I'm seeing two (defenders) there. I could push it at two guys and throw up a bad shot, but I try to pick my spots and not force it. I draw so much attention a lot of times, my teammates are open. I'd much rather them shoot a wide-open shot than me (take a bad one)."
Asked whether the seven shots he took Wednesday was enough, he said it's a non-factor.
"Win," Paul said of his top priority. "I couldn't care less. I'm at that point now where, whatever I have to do to help us win, (I will do)."
Blog question of the night: After several early DNPs due to coach's decision, rookie forward Quincy Pondexter is gradually becoming a larger part of Monty Williams' rotation, including playing in the fourth quarter of a tight game tonight. What is your impression of the first-round pick through one month of his NBA career?