New Orleans (2-4) lost for the first time at home in 2009-10, after being outscored 34-14 in the pivotal third period. The Hornets led by 51-49 at halftime but fell behind by 18 after three quarters and never threatened again.
Toronto set a franchise record for most three-pointers in a quarter, going 8-for-13 in the stanza. Hornets coach Byron Scott credited the Raptors ball movement, but also blamed his teams a-step-slow defense.
Out of the eight they made, we might have contested two of them, Scott said. We didnt do a real good job of coming up and guarding those guys.
Other news from tonights 17-point home loss, which preceded a difficult three-game West Coast trip:
Scott said he was most disappointed by his perception that the Hornets played sluggishly, especially in the third quarter. I thought we would come out like gangbusters in the third quarter, but (Toronto) did (instead), Scott said. (Toronto) came out and said, hey, weve got a chance to win this game. Lets take it to them. We didnt react real well to it.
Chris Paul again accounted for a significant chunk of the Hornets offense, logging 21 points and 18 assists. The Hornets did a better job of making shots off Paul feeds tonight; defense was a bigger problem against the Raptors.
One rare positive was the Hornets bench play. Through three quarters, when the game was still somewhat in doubt, New Orleans reserves held a 25-12 edge in points. Of course, by then four Raptors starters had already piled up at least 14 points.
New Orleans will travel to Los Angeles tomorrow to prepare for a rare back-to-back against both L.A. teams. We know were going against the world champions (on Sunday), and the Clippers are trying to get into the playoff hunt, Scott said. Then youve got a Phoenix team that is kind of revamped, but they play the same style as we saw tonight. And we seem to have trouble with that New York plays the same style as well. Weve got to figure out a way to be a little bit more aggressive on the defensive end.
Marcus Thornton made his NBA debut after being on the active roster for the first time. The LSU product played the final 2:01 and scored his first pro basket on a tip-in.
HORNETS POSTGAME QUOTES
Hornets Head Coach Byron Scott
On the 32-7 third quarter run: They were getting threes. For the most part, out of the eight that they made I think we may have contested two of them so we didnt do a real good job of coming up and guarding those guys. What I thought during the third quarter, especially in the third quarter and in the whole second half, there was a lack of energy. I just didnt see the energy and I asked the guys after the game. Its amazing to me because yesterday in practice we just walked through a bunch of stuff, got a little shooting in, it wasnt a very strenuous practice. It was 2-1/2 or 3 hours so we should have been fresh is what I am saying. For the life of me I cant understand how we cant understand why we came out with that type of energy.
On the Raptors pace: They were getting up and down the floor and they kept that pace and they just kept attacking. I thought we just kind of accepted it. We didnt take a stand at any point in the game and say enough is enough we have to start guarding these guys a little better, be a little more aggressive and a little more physical. We just kind of allowed them to run their offense and take the shots that they had. I said at halftime, guys on every play you have to be up to the touch and we are just giving them way too much space, and they made us pay for it.
Hornets Forward Julian Wright
Its disappointing because its been a problem in the past: the scramble and the kick out and the drives. They were a problem again tonight. In the second half we have to do a better job and tighten up defensively.
Hornets Forward David West
Bosh got rolling. We just didnt do a good job of helping out Emeka. Weve got to treat them just like we do everybody else. When they get hot we have to send two guys at them. They just played off, kicking the ball out and Turkoglu made the extra pass. Theyve got the guys to make the shots.