16 January 2007
Thou shalt not give offense
And lo, the Magic and the Hornets took this to heart: it was 38-33 at the half, and both teams were shooting well under 40 percent. What's more, Orlando had hit only one 3-ball out of four; the Bees put up eight and missed them all. Things picked up marginally in the third, but stayed ugly, and the Magic tied it at 75 with six seconds left as Tyson Chandler fouled out.
But if there's no offense, perhaps there can be defense: the Hornets held the Magic scoreless for 4:53 of the five minutes of overtime, winning it 84-78, their third win in a row, and how long has it been since you heard that? (Yep. Second week of November.)
Once again, Jannero Pargo demonstrated that he's way better off the bench than as a starter: he played 33 minutes anyway, and he scored 25 points, hitting 10 of 18 and 3 of 4 treys. (At one point, Pargo had 19 of the team's last 23 points.) Desmond Mason scored 21 and hauled down 9 boards, just missing a double-double; Rasual Butler got one, with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Chandler, before foul number six, scored 4, picked up 10 rebounds, and blocked three shots.
The Magic presented a relatively-balanced attack, if "attack" is the word; both Dwight Howard and Darko Milicic got double-doubles, and Darko got his off the bench.
A couple of tough games coming up: at San Antonio on Friday, and then the Lakers will be at the Ford Center on Saturday. The Hornets are now 15-22, not inspiring for a team that started 8-3, but the mere fact that they're actually winning games without most of their starters has got to be worth something, if only in terms of confidence factor.