Hornets Late Rally Falls Short In Loss To Lakers
The New Orleans Hornets began a stretch of 4 road games in 5 days on Tuesday night in Los Angeles. Things looked bleak with 5:30 minutes to go in the fourth quarter versus the Lakers, but New Orleans put together a 21-4 run in a remarkable three minute stretch, cutting the deficit to 1 with 2 minutes to go. However, Los Angeles escaped 111-106.
On the ensuing possession, Kobe Bryant dribbled into the paint on the baseline. While he was swarmed, Dwight Howard parked himself in the paint, leading Hornets head coach Monty Williams to scream for a 3 second violation. His plea fell on deaf ears, despite the fact that Howard spent about 7 seconds in the lane. Bryant was able to find Earl Clark who scored a layup, ending the Hornets furious rally.
Williams, usually a cool customer on the sideline, was very testy with the officials after the no call, but quickly gathered his team, and his composure, during a timeout. Unfortunately, the following possession came up empty, and Steve Nash had a back breaking 3 shortly there after.
"We just didn't get the stop that we needed," explained Williams. "When Kobe was on the baseline, he just made a desperation pass and Earl Clark happen to be in the right spot and made a layup. That stuff happens."
Eric Gordon led all scorers with 25, scoring 18 in the first half. Greivis Vasquez registered his 17th double-double of the season, scoring 15 while dishing out 15 assists. Ryan Anderson (pictured), the league leader in 3s, was terrific down the stretch, finishing with 16 points. Robin Lopez scored 16 and pulled down 9 boards.
New Orleans rookies Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers each had solid games. Davis was extremely active, finishing with 18 points. However, he got in foul trouble in the 3rd quarter, forcing Williams to give some of Davis' minutes to Lopez. Rivers has struggled his rookie year, but Tuesday night he gave a valiant effort. His stat line of 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals don't reflect his energy and defensive effort on Bryant (pictured).
Tuesday's rally came up short, but now the Hornets must turn around for a Wednesday night matchup with the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City. Tip-off is set for 8:00.