The Post Up: Hornets Fall Short

by April 09, 2008

By: Holly MacKenzie

And, we are back! One night off and I feel like I have been thrown for a loop. After such a great regular season this year the offseason will not be fun.

Before we go any further, congratulations to Kansas for one fantastic finish. I’m happy the game was an exciting one and still smile when I think of how pretty that shot by Chalmers was. While I was happy for Kansas, I had a hard time when they show the losing team on the bench. Kills me.

So does “One Shining Moment”. I’m such a girl sometimes.

Because Monday was an off night in the NBA world, we had a busy slate last night but a lot of the games really didn’t mean much as they were between teams who are out of the playoff hunt or between losing teams and those with their spots locked up (Boston, Detroit, etc). Still, things out West continue to be crazy and as of today, the Nuggets and Warriors are tied for that eighth spot. Denver does hold the tie-breaker, but the showdown is set for Thursday.

Denver @ Golden State, Thursday 8pm Est. TNT. Mark it down.

Not sure if you all read the power rankings on, but I influenced a ranking! This was fun, but not as fun as being called a “SLAM scribe”. Thanks to Ben Couch for giving me my moment to shine, it was a nice surprise.

The Boston/Milwaukee game was pretty crazy. Boston is up by 20, I’m flipping through channels and suddenly the game is in overtime! Way for the Bucks to come back. That disaster of a Mohawk that Big Baby is rocking needs to go, seriously. Back to the game, the Celtics prevailed in overtime and I was never really worried, even when they were down.

Ridiculous stat that came up during the broadcast: The Celtics are currently tied with the 95-96 Bulls for fewest double-digit losses in a season with two. TWO. Just madness.

Josh Smith may have had a nice dunk against the Pacers, but the damn Hawks folded big time in the game last night.

The Knicks almost choked away their win over the Pistons in the final minutes. Stuckey continues to look good. Anyone else excited to see how the Detroit rookies will do with their first taste of the playoffs?

Al Jefferson with 40 and 10 in the TWolves loss two-point loss to the Bobcats.

Rudy Gay dropped in a career-high 36 points in a loss to the Suns last night. Carmelo Anthony also had 36 last night, continuing his scoring rampage he has been on the past week or so.

While the Hornets fell to the Jazz and the Suns won against the Grizzlies, what did the Lakers do? Lose to the Blazers, of course. Sixth straight loss in Portland. Oh, I was a bitter one last night. Brandon Roy had a field day and it was maddening to watch.

Since the Hornets had a horrible game after the first quarter last night, the game of the night was sort of a bust. With the win, the Jazz own the season-series 3-1.

Think we will have CP3 and Deron combine to shoot 4-22 in a game again? I don’t think so, either.

Kasib Powell! The D-leaguer who has been playing in Miami had 18 points last night as the Bulls lost to the Heat. Yes, losing to the Heat can’t be fun. I’m interested to see how many of these guys currently on the Heat roster will get to stick around in the L next year.

Utah 77 New Orleans 66

In a match up between two of the top point guards in the NBA, Utah’s Deron Williams continued to get the best of Chris Paul as the Jazz held the Hornets to their lowest scoring output of the season, dropping them 77-66 in New Orleans last night. After they led by only three at the end of the first quarter, the Jazz stepped up their defense and the Hornets did not reach 20 points in any of the three remaining quarters. With both Williams and Paul struggling from the floor, Utah had players step up while New Orleans did not. The Hornets shot only 37% for the game as Paul was held scoreless in the first half and finished with only four points on 2-11 field goals to go with his 9 assists. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the Jazz had extended their lead to as many as 20 points and the Hornets could not catch up, despite holding Utah to only nine fourth quarter points. Peja Stojakovic had 15 points to lead the Hornets and David West scored 14 to go with 7 rebounds. Williams scored only 4 points for the Jazz but added 16 assists as Mehmet Okur finished with 22 points and 17 rebounds, Carlos Boozer, Andrei Kirlenko and Paul Milsap scored 10 points apiece.

Phoenix 127 Memphis 113

With Shaquille O’Neal resting a sore hip, the Suns started off slowly but quickly found their rhythm against the Memphis Grizzlies and dropped them 127-113 to stay within one game of the Lakers and the Pacific division title. After trailing by three points at the end of the first quarter, the Suns got to work and outscored Memphis 24-15 in the second to take a 54-48 lead into the break. Their offense only got smoother in the second half as they outscored the Grizzlies 35-27 in the third as Amare Stoudemire dropped in 11 points and Raja Bell added 12 in the period, helping the Suns to extend their lead to as many as 19 points before going into the fourth up 70-59. While the Grizzlies would get within eight points in the final minutes, a three from Steve Nash quickly put Phoenix back up by double-digits and they went on to the victory from there. Stoudemire finished with 28 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists for the Suns. Bell had 18 points, Grant Hill scored 17 points and Steve Nash and Leandro Barbosa each had 16 points with Nash dishing 8 assists. The Grizzlies were led by Rudy Gay’s 36 points while Mike Conley Jr. scored 19 points, Hakim Warrick had 12 points and Kyle Lowry added 13 off of the bench.

Golden State 140 Sacramento 132

In the middle of a battle for their playoff lives, the Golden State Warriors have a three game home stretch and their first opponent was the Sacramento Kings. With their home crowd behind them and their offense flowing, the Warriors defeated the Kings 140-132 last night. While the Kings were without both Ron Artest and Brad Miller, they hung around with the Warriors despite trailing by seven at the end of the first quarter and never leading in the contest. Francisco Garcia and Kevin Martin did their part to keep the Kings close but they were unable to complete the comeback against the Warriors who had scored a season-high 77 points in the first half of the game. While the Kings got within eight points in the fourth quarter, the Warrior lead never seemed in doubt and they were able to get a crucial win leading up to their home game against Denver on Thursday night. Baron Davis led Golden State with 3 points and 9 assists while Stephen Jackson scored 20 points, Andris Biedrins had 17 points and 17 rebounds, Al Harrington scored 17 points and Monta Ellis added 16 points. The Kings were led by Garcia’s 31 points while Martin had 29 points and John Salmons scored 22 points in the loss.

Denver 117 LA Clippers 99

With Golden State winning their game against the Kings, the Nuggets also needed to win against the Clippers to remain on the inside of the playoff race the West. Luckily for Denver, while the Clippers have received an emotional boost from the return of Elton Brand, they have not put together all of the pieces of the puzzle yet. The Nuggets were able to pour in a 40-point second quarter while holding the Clippers to 24 points in the period as they pulled away and turned the game into a blowout before halftime. Holding onto a 63-47 at the break, the Nuggets were able to coast to the victory in the second as the Clippers were able to finish the game out evenly with the Nuggets, but were unable to cut into the lead at all and fell, 117-99. Carmelo Anthony continued his scoring binge for Denver, finishing with 36 points on 13-17 shooting. Allen Iverson scored 21 points to go with 9 assists, Marcus Camby had 1 points and 18 rebounds, Linas Kleiza had 15 points and JR Smith added 10 off of the bench. Cuttino Mobley had 25 points to lead the Clippers as Brand had 17 in his fourth game back and Quinton Ross added 10 points in the loss.

Dallas 99 Seattle 93

Hoping to extend their lead on the seventh spot in the Western Conference playoff race, the Dallas Mavericks were happy to host the Seattle Supersonics last night. While the two teams were matched up evenly for the first three quarters and Dallas led only 46-44 at the break, they built their lead to 70-63 at the start of the fourth. In the final quarter the Mavericks used an 18-4 run as they blew the game open and went ahead by as many as 20 points. While the Sonics would get within nine points Dallas responded by immediately dropping in 11 straight and the Sonics wouldn’t get any closer closer, shooting only 38% in the game while allowing Dallas to connect on 50% of their shots. Jason Terry had 22 points to lead the Mavericks. Josh Howard scored 17 points, Dirk Nowitkzki scored 11 points to go with 12 rebounds, Brandon Bass scored 13 points and Erick Dampier added 10 points and 9 rebounds. Earl Watson had 22 points in the loss for Seattle, as Kevin Durant scored 16 points while Jeff Green and Nick Collison added 11 points apiece.