10 April 2007
Back and forth
The first quarter was something to behold: the lead changed hands half a dozen times in those twelve minutes, and it ended with both teams shooting .500, a mere three fouls in aggregate, and the Hornets up 26-25. By comparison, the second quarter was horrific: the Clippers continued to shoot .500, while the Bees apparently had doused themselves with Rim Repellent (Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.) at some point, managing a mere 15 points and retreating to the locker room down 11.
Then the third, and Devin Brown rolled out 14 points in the first six minutes, and the Hornets outscored L.A. 29-14, taking a four-point lead going into the fourth. And with 20 seconds left, they still led, albeit only by two, and the Clippers had the ball; ten seconds and one dunk later, it was tied at 87. Jason Hart fouled Chris Paul, who sank two free throws; Eldon Brand got a last-second bucket to tie it at 89 with one second left, and overtime duly ensued. As we all know, the Hornets don't lose in overtime: Bobby Jackson dropped in two free throws with 33 seconds left to put the Bees up by seven; Corey Maggette shot a 3-pointer in response; with 11 seconds left, Chris Paul managed to miss two free throws; Jason Hart hit a bucket to pull within two; David West hit one of two from the line, Maggette got the ball and threw it to Devin Brown. Hornets 103, Clippers 100, and the playoff race isn't quite dead yet.
Both teams, depleted by injuries, played only eight men. (Well, James Singleton officially played one second for Los Angeles.) D-West got seven of the Hornets' 14 points in the overtime, and finished with 33. Devin Brown tied his personal best with 25, and Chris Paul added 17 with 10 assists.
The Clippers, however, outrebounded the Bees, 50-42, and both Chris Kaman and Eldon Brand recorded double-doubles, Kaman with 10 points and 12 boards, Brand with 37 points and 10 boards. Corey Maggette, who hit two of the Clippers' four treys, wound up with 24.
So Golden State, which had the night off, occupies eighth place in the West at 38-40; the Clippers, 37-40, are half a game back; the Hornets, 37-41, trail the Clippers by half a game. (The Warriors, however, own the tiebreaker over the Bees.) I'm thinking we need more overtime: in games going beyond regulation this season, the Hornets are 7-0.Posted at 10:02 PM to Net Proceeds