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Hornets Shine under Friday Night Lights

Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack – AP

The margin of victory for Charlotte was the largest all season with a 121-81 win over Orlando. If for only one night, the Hornets looked like the team we thought we would be watching all year. Last night, versus a bad team in the Orlando Magic, shots were dropping from all over for the home team and the defensive intensity was higher than we have seen in recent weeks. The boys took out a lot of frustration on the hapless Magic, including a Marvin Williams dunk that will make Biz famous on all the highlight shows this week.
 
This game was a good ol’ 48 minute smacking behind the barn. The Magic had no answer for the Hornets from the tip and the home team got out to an early lead after one quarter — scoring 37 — and they never looked back. Kemba continued his hot shooting since the All Star game, dropping 23 points on 9/13 shooting, while not even playing in the 4th quarter. Marvin Williams had a huge night grabbing 18 rebounds and dishing out 7 assists, which were both career highs, to go along with 12 points. He looked like the Marvin we needed this season, instead of what we actually got.
 
The biggest difference in this 121-81 crushing was the Hornets bench actually helped the team, as opposed to what it usually does. Keeping in mind the team they were playing, but the bench was nothing short of spectacular on both ends of the court. Wood, Belinelli, Roberts, and Lamb combined for 57 points on 20/32 shooting and played excellent team defense as a group. No one expects this kind of play every night from this group, but the confidence gained can do nothing but help and we continue the stretch run.
 
The win brings the Hornets record to 29-36 with 17 games left to go and 2.5 games out of that 8th seed. I will leave it up to you if you want this team to try to make the playoffs or try to improve our draft position. However, last night sure felt nice to see the team win without trailing, and play a full game without any negatives to talk about after.

Highlights

Good ball movement from the Hornets. Yes, there was poor defensive close-outs and rotations but it’s to defend when you get the ball moving like this. Look at the bench’s reaction.
Here is Marvin’s posterizing dunk of ex-Hornet, Biyombo. Again, look at the bench and the pleasure they got out of this play.

Next Up

Tonight vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 7p, Fox Sport South
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