Hornets Sunk by Wizards, 77-70
The Hornets handed the Washington Wizards the win Tuesday night at the Hive, 77-70, buried under a lackluster effort and 32.5% shooting, a new season low. The Hornets starters only scored 41 points, and the team put up a paltry 28 points in the entire second half.
“When you don’t go out there and make your breaks by playing with the kind of passion and desperation you have to in the NBA, that kind of thing happens,” said Hornets Head Coach Monty Williams after the game. “We are not getting the kind of effort that you should get on a night-in, night-out basis when guys are getting paid to play.”
New Orleans (5-15) looked hopeful in the first half, with the return of #1 draft pick Anthony Davis. Before being injured, Davis averaged 16 points 8.3 rebounds and 2.2 blocks; tonight he scored 13 points and 8 rebounds, grabbed three steals and blocked three shots.
However, the Hornets scoring broke down to a lop-sided effort. Most of the time three players crowded to one side, while the other two attempted one-on-one offense and forced playmaking. Twice, Hornets guards fumbled passes for alley-oops to the recently recovered Davis, putting the 6’10” center in tricky situations — both times he ended tangled up, trying and failing to gain control before hitting the floor.
“We played down to their record,” said Hornets center Jason Smith after the game. “We didn’t take them seriously. Any NBA team can come in and get a win — it doesn’t matter what their record is.”
The Wizards (3-15), who shot just 32.9%, were able to limp ahead of the Hornets after halftime.
The New Orleans offense was never coherent, and was unable to generate momentum, including four scoreless minutes in the fourth quarter during which they saw a two point lead evaporate on an 8-0 Wizards scoring run.
New Orleans was within one possession in the fourth when Greivis Vasquez connected to Anthony Davis on a fast break. Davis scored the layup, and was fouled with 1:51 left to play. He knocked down the free throw, the Hornets trailing 73-70, with 1:51 to play.
But Wizards’ guard Jordan Crawford scored the next four points. The Hornets looked desperate as they attempted an unorganized trio of three-point attempts. Using Ryan Anderson as the go-to scorer for the Hornets was predictable, and the Wizards kept him to only bricks in the final possessions. New Orleans then bungled an inbound attempt, received a 5-second penalty, and turned the ball over. They fouled Crawford one last time before handing the game over.
“I think we have to keep our head up. No matter who we play tomorrow, we have to go out there and fight, compete, and tonight we did not compete at all.” said Williams.
“It’s terrible, there’s no other way to put it,” he continued. “Young can’t be an excuse all the time.”
Ryan Anderson recorded his fifth double-double of the season, with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Robin Lopez only scored two points, but grabbed 10 rebounds and 5 blocks.
The Bees had a rough night at the foul line, 14-22, only 63%.
The Hornets immediately fly out to Oklahoma City for tomorrow’s contest against the Thunder.