Hornets Clinch Playoff Spot, Down Knicks At The Hive

Posted: April 5, 2008 in Hornets

Yeah, CP3 and D-West helped out a little, but it wasn’t a walk in the park Friday night at the arena. The Knicks gave the Hornets the game of their lives and it wasn’t until about 4 minutes left in the game that the Hornets could pull away from New York (final score 118-110). Well, we won. This is another one of those games where we really don’t need to go into the details. With a record of 53-22, the Hornets finally officially clinch a playoff spot. They are the first team to do that in the Western Conference. With San Antonio finally losing, the Hornets are also no longer percentage points ahead of them in the standings; they are a whole game and a half ahead. The Bees have reached the post-season for the first time since 2004, their third trip to the post-season out of 4 years full time in NOLA. The Hornets, however will be looking to do more, for instance, win the West and get home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs. For those of you who are new, home court advantage means that you get 4 home games out of the 7 game series, the other team gets 3. Attendance tonight was 17,779, another sellout.

Field Goals Rebounds
pos min fgm-a 3pm-a ftm-a +/- off def tot ast pf st to bs ba pts
P.Stojakovic F 40:33 9-19 4-10 0-0 +18 0 4 4 1 0 1 0 0 0 22
D.West F 40:09 6-13 0-0 5-6 +6 1 6 7 4 2 3 1 4 0 17
T.Chandler C 37:57 5-7 0-0 4-4 +12 4 4 8 3 1 3 1 3 0 14
M.Peterson G 21:47 4-6 2-4 1-2 +12 1 1 2 1 2 1 0 0 0 11
C.Paul G 42:36 10-19 1-2 12-13 +15 0 4 4 15 3 2 2 0 1 33
B.Wells 20:56 4-7 0-0 0-1 -4 2 3 5 1 1 1 0 0 0 8
H.Armstrong 13:22 1-1 0-0 2-2 -8 1 2 3 0 5 0 0 0 0 4
J.Pargo 16:21 2-6 1-3 0-0 -3 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 5
J.Wright 06:19 2-6 0-1 0-0 -8 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 4

(If you’ve noticed, the roster is smaller due to the necessary cuts made by coach Byron Scott to trim down the roster to the 12 player playoff limit. Those who did not play based on a coaches decision are not shown)

NEW ORLEANS, April 4 (AP)Chris Paul took control down the stretch and took the New Orleans Hornets into the playoffs.

Paul had 33 points and 15 assists, and the Hornets became the first team in the Western Conference to clinch a playoff berth, beating the New York Knicks 118-110 on Friday night.

New Orleans (53-22), which never has been better than a No. 4 seed in the playoffs, increased its lead atop the Western Conference to 1 1/2 games over the San Antonio Spurs, who lost to Utah.

“It’s a great feeling,” Paul said. “It’s my third year in the league and I’ve never been to the playoffs, but we finally did it. Now the hard work begins.”

Paul asserted himself the most when the Hornets fell behind, scoring 13 points in the last 5:15 of the first half and making several key plays when they fell behind by four in the fourth quarter.

“He turned it around for us,” New Orleans coach Byron Scott said. “He got more aggressive and his will to win the game and take it upon himself to ensure the victory is probably the biggest thing that happened tonight.”

Jamal Crawford had 29 points and nine assists for the Knicks, who have lost 17 of 19 but stayed competitive through three quarters. The Hornets trailed 95-91 with 10:20 left before putting away the game with a 26-9 run, getting 12 points from Peja Stojakovic during that spurt.

Stojakovic finished with 22 points and David West added 17 for the Hornets, who won their 10th in a row at home. They were coming off a season-high, six-game road trip in which they went 5-1.

New York (20-56) finished an 0-5 road trip. The Knicks played well for 3 1/2 quarters but could not sustain that effort down the stretch as embattled coach Isiah Thomas missed an opportunity to impress new president of basketball operations Donnie Walsh.

Reserve Nate Robinson scored 23 points and Zach Randolph added 22 points, 11 in the first quarter. The Knicks lost shooting 55 percent from the field.

“We fought the whole game and guys played good,” Randolph said. “Just towards the end, Chris took over, hit big shots and we couldn’t bounce back.”

“Hornets Beat Knicks For First Playoff Birth Since 2004”. NBA.com. April 4, 2008. “http://www.nba.com/games/20080404/NYKNOH/recap.html”.

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