The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

21 March 2006

Feel the swarm

"If we're going to win games," said Byron Scott, "we've got to get angry."

And after the Clippers jumped out to an early 12-3 lead, the visibly pissed-off Hornets took out eight games' worth of frustration on the Angelenos, outscoring the Clippers 30-11 in the rest of the quarter and fighting off a late L.A. rally, finishing it off with a throwaway Rasual Butler three-pointer at the buzzer to win it 120-108.

You want numbers? This is the highest point total the Bees have posted all year; in fact, the last time they scored 120 was two years ago, and they lost that game (to the Raptors, 121-120). And Rasual Butler ruled: he shot 12 for 16, including seven of nine treys, plus one from the line for a career-high 32 points. Both Chris Paul and David West dropped in 21 points; West snagged 11 boards for the double-double. Marc Jackson scored 10 off the bench, and J. R. Smith fought his way back to respectability with 3 of 4 shooting (including a trey), seven points, a steal and a blocked shot in 18 minutes.

What makes it sweeter is that the Clippers were good tonight: they shot 55 percent from the floor (the Bees did 52) and hit 19 of 21 free throws. Corey Maggette scored 25 off the bench, dominating the fourth quarter, and Elton Brand dropped in his usual 24. But the Hornets forced 19 turnovers and pulled 13 offensive rebounds, insuring themselves plenty of looks.

Back to the Ford Thursday to take on the inconsistent Rockets, and then an industrial-strength road trip: the Bulls, the Lakers, the Jazz, and the Warriors, over a mere six days. Let's hope they stay mad.

Posted at 9:47 PM to Net Proceeds