Hornets.com postgame: Hornets 106, Grizzlies 87

Saturday, December 6, 2008
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

The schedule has been anything but taxing so far for the Hornets, who have played fewer games than any NBA team. But as the games start coming more quickly, it would be ideal to have a few outings like Saturday’s rout against the Grizzlies. In a Southwest Division matchup New Orleans controlled from the opening tip, Byron Scott was able to give a few key Hornets some fourth-quarter rest.

New Orleans (11-6) tallied a season-high 37 points in the opening quarter, built a 19-point lead by halftime and was up 29 through three periods. The Hornets haven’t had many runaway victories to date, winning for just the second time by 15 points or more.

“Against a team like (Memphis) you have to guard against a letdown,” Scott said. “We did a heck of a job at the beginning of the game of coming out ready to play. We had a lot of energy.”

As a result, Chris Paul (21 points, 11 assists) played just 31 minutes, while Peja Stojakovic (20 points, 5-for-7 on three-pointers) and David West (19 points) logged 28 apiece.

Other notes from Saturday’s win at the New Orleans Arena:

Sean Marks turned in his most productive game so far, with six points and six rebounds in 19 minutes. Scott was pleased with Marks’ play, saying that the free-agent signee is becoming more comfortable with his new team, but that he needs to stop picking up fouls from being out of position on defense. The native of New Zealand was whistled for four personals.

Byron Scott

On the second half: “We did a good job. Just before we came out for the second half, we said that the score is 0-0. We’ve got to come out with the same aggressive mentality that we started the game with. It’s a good sign of showing some maturity as a young team, to come out in that second half, and not to play the score, but to play the game.”
On things to work on: “Score wise it was a great win for us. A big win. But we still did some things on the defensive end that I wasn’t real happy with. The second unit has to continue to get better on both ends of the floor. So those are the things that we will take from this game and try to improve on.”

Rasual Butler
On the defense: “Defense is a point of emphasis for the entire team. Playing the two guard spot is this league is going to be a tough cover every night. I just want to go out and make those guys take tough shots. I don’t want to give their premier offensive players an easy road. We want to be more consistent with the way that we play. We want to come out every night and give a great effort on the defensive end, and allow that to get us into our offense and get us easy baskets on offense.”
On the game: “We told ourselves tonight no matter what, once the game started getting out of hand that we weren’t going to let up. It’s about the way that we play, it’s not about the score. We want to be a lot more consistent in playing that way every night.”
On the winning streak: “We’re just working every day. We’re not satisfied. We understand that we still have some areas that we can improve on. Right now we just want to make sure that we are playing with consistency.” and our shooters can shoot shots.”

Peja Stojakovic
On the game: “I think we learned our lesson. We knew that Memphis was a talented team, but sometimes they just can’t finish games because of their age and inexperience. We played very good from the beginning. We tried to put them away from the very beginning and play our game. It’s a good feeling when, for the first time this season we were able to put a team away. We played well, and everyone had a chance to play. Sometimes we play games, and we let the other team stay in the game. But tonight was a good overall effort.”
On his shooting: “I had open shots. I just have to keep doing my best. I have to be aggressive and hopefully my shots are going to fall.”

Marc Iavaroni

“I felt that they came out and they were totally into what they were trying to do. They are good. They’ve got a gold medalist over there. They’ve got guys that have been to the semifinals. They’ve got high goals and we can’t afford where we are right now to not be totally into it. If we are not, we will be down 37-16 in the first quarter.”
Mike Conley
“The way they came out with their energy level we didn’t match their energy level throughout the whole game and that’s what we needed to do to get a win tonight. They are great shooters but give a lot a credit to them they run their offense well. Chris Paul did a great job of getting them the ball and Peja did a great job knocking down shots. We have to come out with better energy though, to disrupt them a bit.