Hornets.com postgame: Wolves 113, Hornets 98

Monday, December 27, 2010
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Timberwolves (8-24), Hornets (18-13)

It was over when… Michael Beasley continued a Minnesota three-point barrage by draining a bomb from the right wing, giving the Timberwolves a 17-point lead with 2:24 remaining. Fellow Minnesota wing Wes Johnson help hand New Orleans to a seventh straight road defeat by bagging a career-high six treys.

Hornets MVP: Chris Paul accounted for a significant chunk of the New Orleans offense with 22 points and 13 assists. Paul had 16 of those points before intermission, staking the Hornets to a 57-54 halftime advantage. David West (23 points) also started quickly, but made a larger impact in the first half.

Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Quincy Pondexter supplied energy and a few positive plays for a bench unit that didn’t do a lot well statistically, but was actually better than the starters Monday in the plus-minus category. Aside from the rookie from Washington’s 2-for-2 shooting for four points, the rest of the subs went a combined 5-for-21.

The buzz on… New Orleans’ home/road discrepancy. The Hornets are an outstanding 13-3 at home, but a very subpar 5-10 outside of Louisiana. Although tonight was an exception to this, a big factor in the differential of outcomes has been the results of close games. In games decided by six points or fewer (two-possession games), New Orleans is 5-1 at home, including impressive wins over Denver, Miami and Dallas. On the road, the Hornets are only 2-4 in those circumstances, including last week’s frustrating defeats in Detroit and Indiana. For whatever reason, New Orleans has played with much more poise on its home floor throughout 2010-11, while occasionally being prone to crucial mistakes at both ends in road games. Players are often asked if they can explain the difference in performance, but many times the response is along the lines of “if I could tell you, we’d be doing much better on the road.”

Blog question of the night: In two days, the Hornets will host the Lakers in New Orleans, a game that was approaching sellout status at last check. What are you most looking forward to about Wednesday’s game against the two-time defending NBA champions?