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Eric Gordon Returns, Hornets Defeat Bobcats

Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

In some ways, fans got their first real look at the 2012-2013 New Orleans Hornets on Saturday night. For the first time this season, shooting guard Eric Gordon was on the floor, and he was pretty darn impressive.

Playing only 25 minutes, and for the first time in an NBA game since April 22 (knee surgery), Gordon made his presence known by scoring 24 points, dishing out 7 assists, swiping 2 steals, and getting to the free throw line on 14 occasions. He scored 16 of his 24 in the second half, propelling the Hornets from a 21-point first-half deficit, and ultimately a 98-95 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

“I certainly thought he would be able to help guys and make guys better,” New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “But I didn’t think he’d score 24 points. His defense will get better the more he gets in shape.”

“I felt pretty good; I was kind of surprised,” Gordon said afterwards. “Now I’m just going to try to get better and better from here. I wouldn’t have had a chance to help this team earlier with my knee, but I’m glad everything is working out now.”

His ability to draw defenders left his teammates wide open. Ryan Anderson (19 points), Greivis Vasquez (16 points), and Roger Mason Jr. (13 points) all benefited from wide-open 3-point looks on account of the Bobcats worrying about Gordon getting to the cup.

Rookie Anthony Davis was solid defensively, pulling down 10 rebounds. He finished with 8 points.

For the Bobcats, the loss marks 18 straight, the longest in the NBA. Charlotte experienced a 23-game losing streak last season.

The Hornets now return home for 2013, a year they hope brings more victories than 2012. They’ll kickoff the New Year with a January 1rst battle at home against the Atlanta Hawks. Tip-off from the Hive is set for 7:00.

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