Hornets Fall To Pacers In Overtime
The New Orleans Hornets have displayed an alarming habit in this young NBA season...losing close games. After blowing a fourth quarter lead in Indiana, New Orleans fought back to force overtime, only to lose in the extra period to the Pacers by the score of 115-107. The defeat marks 5 straight for the Hornets, who were once again without Anthony Davis (stress reaction in his left ankle).
Indiana got a career night from forward Paul George. Too many times the Hornets were slow to rotate on defense (another alarming trend), leaving George open for 3. He made New Orleans pay by nailing 9 triples on 13 attempts, finishing with a career-high 37 points.
Robin Lopez stepped up in the scoring department for the Hornets in Davis' absence, racking up a season-high 21. However, his shooting from the field was awful, as he shot a paltry 3-17. Credit to Lopez for taking his game inside, forcing the issue by getting to the charity stripe 17 times, and knocking down 15 of those free throws. He finished with a double-double by pulling down 13 boards.
Ryan Anderson continues to display veteran leadership. In addition to going 5-5 from beyond the arc and scoring 17 points, Anderson let Indiana know his team wouldn't be pushed around. Former Hornet David West was forcing the issue, winning the physicality battle early. Anderson ended that with a hard (and clean) foul, setting the tone for his team. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough as New Orleans came up short once again.
Greivis Vasquez (pictured) and Al-Farouq Aminu each scored 14, with Aminu grabbing 13 rebounds. New Orleans' bench struggled with the exception of Jason Smith, who scored 18 points on a night when his motor never stopped.
Things don't get any easier for the Hornets, who are in the midst of a tough road trip. Friday night they battle the Phoenix Suns (tip-off set for 8:00). Sunday they hit the mile-high city for a showdown with the Denver Nuggets (tip-off set for 7:00), before ending their road-trip with a matchup against Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers (tip-off at 9:30) on Monday.