The New Orleans Hornets kept it close, but were unable to overcome the Chicago Bulls, losing at home Tuesday night, 96-87.
Chicago’s Luol Deng led the victory with 20 points. He was supported by Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, who combined to contribute 32 points.
The Hornets rallied in the fourth quarter behind the efforts of guard Brian Roberts, coming within one point after Brian Roberts knocked down a three-pointer, but were unable to break free from the Bull’s smothering defense. The Hornets gave up the ball seven times in the last six minutes of the game, three of those from guard Eric Gordon, twice as he tried to force the ball inside.
“We just couldn’t punish them back,” said Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez after the game. “Their big guys played extremely physical. They play good together. Playing against a team like that, you have to match their intensity because they want to punish you.”
Chicago outrebounded the Hornets 47-39. Noah led the front court with 17 boards, a Hornets’ opponent individual season-high.
The Bees were unable to get any momentum from downtown, shooting a dismal 23.5 percent from the arc. Greivis Vasquez and Ryan Anderson, who leads the league in 3-point shots made,were each 0-4 in three-point attempts tonight.
The Hornets (19-35) fly to Cleveland tonight for tomorrow’s contest against the Cavaliers.
Four of the New Orleans starters scored in double digits. Al-Farouq Aminu put up 10 points, Anthony Davis scored 15, Gordon contributed 20, and Vasquez hit for 11. The remaining starter, Robin Lopez, only scored 1 point.
Lopez only played 6:27 of the second half, and not at all in the fourth quarter
Vasquez passed out 10 assists to complement his 11 points ,and recorded his 21st double-double of the season. He came into tonight leading all guards in the league in double-doubles.
Davis, 15 points and 10 rebounds, has now played 10 consecutive games with a double-double.