The New Orleans Hornets broke a franchise record at the New Orleans Arena Wednesday night, during a dispiriting loss to the visiting Philadelphia 76ers.
Too bad it was the record for fewest points scored in a game.
The 77-62 loss came at the end of a disorganized offensive and defensive effort in a game missing key players on both teams.
The Hornets turned the ball over 20 times, and made just 23 field goals, including four 3-point shots out of 19 attempts.
Both teams started slow, the game scoreless until nearly three minutes into the first quarter. After the Hornets’ first time out they started to gain some momentum, but the offense remained forced and inconsistent.
The Hornets defense did manage to hold its own against the depleted 76ers, however. The young team used their energy to force the 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday into making poor decisions, resulting in a number of turnovers and offensive fouls.
Philadelphia’s head coach, Doug Collins, clearly upset, voiced his frustration after the first quarter, “We made poor decisions, five turnovers. They have nineteen points.”
The same offensive problems continued through the second quarter as the Hornets began to force bad passes inside. However, they managed to close out the half leading by one.
That’s the last time they would lead.
The start to the third quarter was a disorganized rush as Greivis Vasquez led the Hornets up and down the floor, and the Hornets did not earn their first points until the 7:46 mark with a shot by Ryan Anderson on an assist by Xavier Henry. Philadelphia outscored the Hornets 21-10 in the third.
Head Coach Monty Williams urged his team to slow down and set up an offense. “We don’t need to get it all at once, we’ll get enough stops,” Williams said. But his advice did little to stop the plague of turnovers, many of which a result of overzealous ball handling and passing from the overly quick, unsupervised offense.
The fourth quarter remained much of the same, and the Hornets, without much leadership or direction on the floor, finally called in their secondary to finish the game.
Al-Farouq Aminu, who typically stuns his opponents inside the paint with powerful scoring, spent much of the game trying to handle the ball on the outside. He ended up the only Hornets player to crack double digit scoring, with 10 points. Ryan Anderson was an unusual 1/6 from the outside.
Philadelphia fared better, with four of their starters in double digits, including Holiday’s double-double with 14 points and 12 assists.
Eric Gordon spent tonight in Los Angeles, rehabbing his injured knee. Anthony Davis (out with concussion) and Austin Rivers (out with a sprained index finger) watched from the bench.
The Hornets will host the Charlotte Bobcats at the Arena Friday night.
Correction: Nov. 8, 2012
This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
The New Orleans Hornets turned the ball over 20 times in their record-breaking loss to the 76ers, not 24 times.