Timberwolves Squash Hornets
The New Orleans Hornets looked utterly exhausted on Saturday night in Minnesota. Mentally and physically fatigued, the Hornets played their fourth game in five nights. The result wasn’t pretty. Minnesota defeated New Orleans 115-86, the largest margin of victory this season for the T-Wolves, and the biggest margin of defeat this season for the Hornets.
New Orleans committed a whopping 23 turnovers, which Minnesota turned into 29 points.
“Anytime you come out and allow a team to play the game that easily, you look right at the coach, and for whatever reason, I wasn’t sharp tonight,” Hornets coach Monty Williams said. “I didn’t have the guys ready to play and we got embarrassed tonight. That’s something that is unacceptable.”
Unacceptable, and yet not unexpected. Every team in the NBA has a few duds through the course of the regular season, and it usually occurs at the end of a long road trip.
Eric Gordon sat out, which is standard for the second game of a back-to-back. New Orleans is 8-7 when Gordon plays this season, and 7-26 when he doesn’t.
Rookie Anthony Davis provided the only positive highlight of the night to the Hornets, throwing down a tomahawk dunk in the 4th quarter. He finished with a team-high 18 points. Robin Lopez was the only other Hornet to reach double-figures, scoring 16 points in 25 minutes of play. While both big men scored, both were also part of an abysmal night for New Orleans’ interior defense.
Minnesota got whatever they wanted in the paint, outscoring New Orleans in that regard 58-32.
Greivis Vasquez (7 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds) struggled, turning it over 5 times. As far as he’s concerned, he and his teammates need to flush this humiliating loss and move on.
“It’s not the end of the world,” Vasquez said. “But we’ve got to regroup, better ourselves and get back home and get a win and try to get out of this slump.”
The Hornets return to New Orleans and look forward to some much needed rest. They will host the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday. Tip-off is set for 7:00.