Hornets Turn Up The Intensity, Beat Spurs In Game 1

Posted: May 5, 2008 in Hornets

After trailing by 4 at halftime, which was encouraging to the Hornets after being down by as many as 11, they were able to turn up their intensity defensively and shut down Tim Duncan, a key big-man for the Spurs, in the second half. That was the biggest highlight of the game; the Hornets defensive job against Tim Duncan. He’s so good in the paint when he receives a pass from Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, or any of the other San Antonio shooters. He can really hit those key hook shots and muscle his way to the basket; much like a David West (pictured beasting on the left). However, he was limited to just 5 points, whereas the Hornets muscle-man tallied 30. The turnaround to the game was mostly because of Chris Paul running his “organized playground” (courtesy of Gregg Popovich, Spurs Head Coach) and transforming the game into a Hornets tempo game. He was able to find Peja for his step back 3and D. West, the 17-foot assassin, as CP3 likes to refer to him, for just that; 17 footers. New Orleans would pull away from there and San Antonio never threatened. The final was a convincing 101-82 win and the Hornets take a 1-0 lead back here Monday night for game 2.

Field Goals Rebounds
pos min fgm-a 3pm-a ftm-a +/- off def tot ast pf st to bs ba pts
P.Stojakovic F 37:35 9-15 2-4 2-2 +17 2 2 4 0 2 1 0 0 1 22
D.West F 38:21 13-23 0-0 4-5 +10 1 8 9 2 0 2 4 1 2 30
T.Chandler C 35:18 4-7 0-0 2-2 +13 6 9 15 0 2 0 1 3 0 10
M.Peterson G 24:53 3-5 2-3 0-0 +15 1 3 4 2 3 1 0 0 0 8
C.Paul G 41:00 7-16 0-1 3-6 +13 2 2 4 13 3 4 2 0 1 17
B.Wells 18:31 5-9 0-0 0-0 +1 1 3 4 0 2 0 0 1 0 10
M.Ely 12:42 0-2 0-0 0-0 +6 2 1 3 1 4 0 0 0 0 0
J.Pargo 20:35 1-6 0-1 0-0 +13 0 4 4 5 1 2 0 0 0 2
J.Wright 09:18 1-2 0-0 0-0 +3 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 2
R.Bowen 01:47 0-1 0-1 0-0 +4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

NEW ORLEANS, May 3 (AP) — Hornets coach Byron Scott showed off the three championship rings he won as a player during his pregame speech.

The message? This is what the San Antonio Spurs have, and you want.

He certainly got through to All-Stars David West and Chris Paul.

West scored a career playoff-high 30 points to lead New Orleans to a 101-82 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of their second-round playoff series Saturday night.

Paul added 17 points, 13 assists and four steals for New Orleans, which trailed by as much as 11 in the first half but stormed into the lead for good in the third quarter.

“It sort of gives you goose bumps,” Paul said of seeing Scott’s rings, won in the 1980s with the Los Angeles Lakers. “We understand right now we’re on that same journey and we feel like we can get there.”

One reason they’re off to such a good start against San Antonio is the way they played defense on Spurs center Tim Duncan.

Duncan had what he considered one of the worst games of his stellar career, going 1-of-9 from the field for a career playoff-low five points and only three rebounds.

“Things just didn’t go my way,” said Duncan, who offered only a few terse comments in the locker room. “They did a great job. … I played badly, so credit to them.”

Tyson Chandler was Duncan’s primary defender, but the Hornets also swarmed Duncan with double teams throughout the game, forcing San Antonio to look for points from outside.

The Spurs hit 12 3-pointers in the game, but also missed 19.

The Hornets dominated the inside, outrebounding San Antonio 50-34 and outscoring the Spurs 46-26 in the paint. The Hornets also shot 50 percent, while the Spurs finished at 40.8 percent.

Chandler had 10 points, 15 rebounds and three blocked shots for New Orleans. Peja Stojakovic added 22 points for the Hornets on 9-of-15 shooting, while reserve Bonzi Wells added 10 points, all but two in the fourth quarter.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 23 points and Manu Ginobili had 19. Bruce Bowen added 17 points and Michael Finley 13, but San Antonio needed more help inside from Duncan and Kurt Thomas, who had only two points and two rebounds.

“They took away our inside game. Timmy had a rough night,” Parker said. “We need to do a better job to get him the ball and try to get him some shots, basically. Tonight, New Orleans did a good job to take that away from us. That’s not Timmy.”

After trailing most of the first half, the Hornets surged into the lead for good with a 13-0 run in the third quarter that opened with Chandler’s driving layup and ended with Stojakovic’s second 3-pointer of the game, giving New Orleans a 61-54 lead.

West scored four points during the run and 11 in the quarter, often hitting midrange jumpers, sometimes while fading away from a defender in his face.

“David West is the one that really, really hurt us tonight,” Parker said. “He made outside shots, and once he made his outside shots he was having the drive, so we can’t all focus on Chris Paul.”

The Hornets led 74-66 heading into the fourth quarter.

Jacque Vaughn‘s driving layup got the Spurs as close as 76-71 early in the period, but the Hornets, despite being in the playoffs for the first time in four years, were not rattled.

They pushed the lead back up to double digits before turning it into a blowout during the last 5 minutes, with Paul scoring seemingly at will.

“We’ve been in that position where everyone is kind of waiting for the wheels to fall off of this thing, feeling like we are overachieving,” West said. “But we’re a hungry group of guys, we’re going to go out and compete.”

“West, Hornets Sting Spurs In Game 1”. NBA.com. May 4, 2008. “http://www.nba.com/games/20080503/SASNOH/recap.html”.

  1. john says:

    The Hornets are no team to mess around with. Unlike the Suns, they play with more pride. I do not longer consider them as a “Playoff Student” anymore. They know what it takes to be here and are not going throw everything that easy.

    I hope my Spurs will learn something from Game 1 because one thing is clear, home court advantage is not on their side.


  2. This is one fine team.

    The talent and leadership of Chris Paul is incredible.

    When can he do a seminar at City Hall?

  3. Jason says:

    My best team of NBA is San Antonio Spurs and I always follow them wherever they go if only have some time. I do not care if Spurs tickets are always a little bit pricy but prices mean nothing to me when the matter is related to my favourite team. San Antonio Spurs tickets are pricy but we should never mind when we want to watch our favourite teams. Without doubt there are other NBA teams that are great teams too but I have a special love for Spurs and always do my best to attend their games.

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