The Hornets have struggled big-time on the road all season, dropping to a West-worst 2-12 by losing to the Bulls. Amid all of the woes away from New Orleans this season though, tonights third quarter may have been the poorest stanza the Hornets have played in 2009-10.
New Orleans (13-15) led by a point at halftime at the United Center, but was outscored 23-9 in the third period. The Hornets only scored four points in the initial 11-plus minutes of the quarter.
For the third time over the past two weeks, New Orleans had an opportunity to improve to .500 overall on the season but lost to an Eastern Conference foe. The previous defeats that prevented reaching the break-even mark were to New York (Dec. 11) and Toronto (Dec. 20).
The Hornets led by as many as eight points in the first half in Chicago (11-17), but couldnt capitalize on a Devin Brown three-point shooting barrage. Brown began the game 6-for-6 from beyond the arc. He finished with a team-best 22 points.
The Hornets problems on the backboards surfaced again in their third consecutive road loss. The Bulls dominated the rebounding category with a 51-34 edge. Relentless center Joakim Noah pulled down 19 rebounds, while LSU product Tyrus Thomas grabbed nine boards in his return to action from injury. The ultra-athletic Thomas burned the Hornets with a team-best 21 points on 10-for-17 shooting.