Hornets Lose to Spurs

Posted: March 2, 2010 in Hornets
Tags: ,

NEW ORLEANS (NBA.com exclusive) — The latter half of most back-to-back games for the San Antonio Spurs hasn’t been a thing of beauty like in years past with inconsistencies flaring up on an all-too consistent basis.

And of all the high-profile names on the Spurs roster, it was the less recognizable George Hill who excelled on both ends of the floor.

Hill scored a team-high 23 points and cooled off rookie guard Darren Collison to help the Spurs to a 106-92 win over the Hornets on Monday to complete the back-to-back with wins over Phoenix and now New Orleans.

Collison was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month earlier Monday and his 35-point output was fresh on the Spurs’ minds. Instead of sticking Tony Parker on Collison, the second-year Hill drew the assignment and stunted the Hornets’ offensive growth Monday. Hill held Collison to 10 points even though the Hornets rookie did dish out 15 assists.

“I just wanted to take every game like this because every game means something right now,” Hill said. “I’m just trying to give all I can to help my team try to win basketball games. If that’s trying to stop someone who’s averaging 20 to hold them to 14, then that’s my job just to give them everything on both ends of the floor.

“He was able to find others, but you had to try to take something away. I think today we wanted to try to take away some of the scoring. Just try to make it tough for him.”

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich added: “[Hill has] been good for us at both ends of the court,” Popovich said. “It’s his sophomore year and he did a good job on both ends of the floor. We’re not surprised when he makes shots or when he does what he did tonight.”

Hill didn’t leave all his energy on the defensive side as he went 9-for-13 from the floor, including 3-for-4 from behind the 3-point line to put together one of his more complete games of the season in a spot San Antonio needed to string together some wins.

“George has been great all year long,” said Tim Duncan, who scored 22 points. “He’s a big part of what we do and he’s just finding his rhythm. He knows where he’s supposed to be. We ask him to go out there and guard their best player, their most active player and he does that on a nightly basis. He’s a big part of what we do and when he plays well like that, we play well.”

The Spurs used an effective balancing act scoring wise with six players in double figures. Parker added 18 points with Manu Ginobili scoring 13 and Richard Jefferson and Matt Bonner each tacking on 10.

Popovich was pleased to see a more consistent offensive effort in the second game of this back-to-back schedule.

“That’s been a real weakness of ours this year,” Popovich said. “We’ve shot it very poorly this year. It’s cost us a lot of games and it was nice to see some people knock down some shots tonight.”

The Spurs’ win keeps them afloat in the Western Conference playoff hunt, while the loss for the Hornets may start a sinking playoff process.

“It’s very important for a win on the road, especially after three losses in a row (on the road) against a good team that’s still trying to make it to the playoffs,” Ginobili said. “Hopefully we can keep this going. I’ve said it 1,000 times already that we haven’t accomplished anything.”

The Hornets are drifting backwards with every loss as they’ve lost four of their last five games and are even deeper in ninth place now, four games behind Portland for the final playoff spot.

It’s becoming a normal occurrence for rookie Marcus Thornton to excel offensively as he led the Hornets with 30 points in just 27 minutes off the bench as he went 12-for-19 from the floor, including 6-for-7 from 3-point land.

“He was incredible today,” Ginobili said. “At the beginning of the game, we said we would prefer him to take shots rather than attack the rim. But he started making every shot possible and attacking the rim, too. He was really impressive. Our previous game here he played well, too. A rookie with a lot of potential.”

But it’s becoming more apparent that the Hornets don’t match up well with the Western Conference’s elite.

—-From NBA.com—-

  1. Belle says:

    We Sat In Here For Two Hours Talking About How We Don’t Have Boyfriends

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