Hornets Completely Collapse, Lose To Lakers
The New Orleans Hornets (21-41) were playing in front of a full house Wednesday night at the Hive. For three quarters, they gave their fans plenty of reasons to smile. In the fourth quarter, they gave their fans plenty of reasons to puke. In the most embarrassing, disappointing collapse of the season, the Hornets blew a 25 point lead, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers 108-102.
Hornets rookie Anthony Davis played well (13 points, 6 rebounds), but inexplicably played only 17 minutes. He sat on the bench for all by the final seconds of the fourth quarter, where L.A. outscored New Orleans 33-9.
Seven Hornets reached double figures, as their offense was clicking for the first 36 minutes. New Orleans scored 93 points after 3 quarters, then forgot how to play defense. Missed assignments, over pursuit, and communication breakdown by the home team let the Lakers climb out of the cellar. Credit L.A. for a comeback, but it wouldn't have been possible without a completely and total collapse by the Hornets. New Orleans didn't score a single point in the final 6:47 of play.
Kobe Bryant was held scoreless in the first quarter, yet finished the game with 42. He made one shot after another in the second half, leading his team on a 20-0 run in the final frame. When the defense over pursued, he kicked out to Jodie Meeks (19 points off the Lakers bench) for a couple of wide open 3s.
It was undoubtedly the most frustrating defeat of the season. It's the kind of loss that can haunt you. A loss that you can't simply flush away, and prepare for the next game. It's a loss that can cause a young team to start questioning their abilities. It may only count as a single loss in the standings, but the Hornets lost more than a game Wednesday night.
New Orleans will hit the road for a matchup with the Grizzlies Saturday night. Tip-off from Memphis is set for 7:00.