Hornets.com postgame: Thunder 110, Hornets 95 (11/16/12)

by Jim Eichenhofer

Hornets.com postgame: Thunder 110, Hornets 95

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Thunder (7-3), Hornets (3-4)

It was over when… Eric Maynor drained a three-pointer from the right wing, giving Oklahoma City a 101-77 lead with roughly seven minutes remaining. The Thunder jumped on the Hornets from the get-go, building a 36-18 lead after a quarter, a 12-minute stretch that was all-too-reminiscent of the Rockets’ 39-18 second-quarter edge vs. NOLA on Wednesday. The Hornets will have to bounce back quickly, traveling to Milwaukee late Friday to face the Bucks on Saturday.

Hornets MVP: Roger Mason played one of his better games of the 2012-13 season, obviously a rarity among New Orleans players on this night. Mason scored a season-high 11 points and was the lone Hornet to crack double figures through the first three quarters. The shooting guard went 4-for-7 from the field, scoring all of his points in the middle quarters.

Hornets Sixth Man of the Game: Ryan Anderson heated up in the fourth quarter, cutting into OKC’s lead with eight quick points prior to the first mandatory timeout. With the game out of reach, however, Anderson sat the final portion of the game, ending up with 15 points and seven rebounds in just 21 minutes of action.

The buzz on… Dell Demps signing a contract extension. Due to situations beyond their control, during their two-plus years together, Demps and head coach Monty Williams have presided over a franchise that has experienced as much instability as any in the NBA. The biggest cloud hanging over the team was lifted this summer when it finally gained a long-term owner in Tom Benson. Williams signed his own contract extension in August, followed by Demps doing likewise Friday. Nearly everything has changed since the offseason of 2010, including the front office, head coach, assistant coaching staff and players. Not one member of the roster remains from when Williams and Demps took over that summer. Jason Smith is the Hornets’ longest-tenured player, joining the team in September 2010, in a trade Demps executed with Philadelphia. Like several of Demps’ trades, the clear advantage in hindsight has gone to the Hornets: Both players New Orleans dealt to Philadelphia are no longer in the NBA, while Smith has developed into a valued reserve. In the previous few years prior to the Demps/Williams duo, the Hornets were often in win-now mode, perhaps at times to the detriment of the club’s long-term outlook. Demps and Williams have preached patience, with Demps often saying the Hornets don’t want to “skip steps” as they try to build a team that can eventually contend for an NBA championship. “We have a plan to achieve sustained success,” Demps said Friday evening. “We have a core of guys we want to see grow and compete at the highest level.”